Zoo visitor shocked by 'angry' bird uttering insulting words in Hubei

Updated: 17 Dec 2012
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myna bird
 
A MYNA bird has been isolated for retraining at a zoo in central China's Hubei Province after someone taught it to insult visitors.

The bird, a common hill myna, or Gracula religiosia, is a member of the starling family from hill regions of South Asia and Southeast Asia. It is a master at imitating human speech and singing.

The Jiufeng Forest Zoo in Wuhan, Hubei's capital, introduced eight mynas from Vietnam in 2010. Four were put into the its World of Birds exhibit because of their outstanding linguistic talent.

The four birds had learned some simple greetings in Chinese, saying "hello" when visitors arrived and "bye" when they left.

The zoo erected banners in the exhibit to remind tourists not to teach the mynas bad language, Wuhan Evening News reported yesterday.

But one day recently, one of the birds directed a mild expletive at some tourists, stunning zoo keeper Li Yun who takes care of the birds.

He told the paper that he had heard some tourists try to teach the birds rude words, and said the hill myna is certainly a good learner.

Since hill mynas also tend to learn from each other, the zoo isolated the "angry bird," which will get special training.

The training program includes playing tapes of polite words. If the bird says any rude words, it will be punished with hunger, trainers said.

SOURCE: Shanghai Daily
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