BEIJING - An exotic bird is in solitary confinement at a Chinese Zoo after spewing a toxic expletive involving one's mother.
It started out innocently enough.
In an apparent attempt to cash in on the human weakness for talking birds, the Jiufeng Mountain Forest Zoo in the central Chinese city of Wuhan imported eight myna birds from Vietnam back in 2010. The birds, indigenous to South and Southeast Asia, are known for their vocal prowess in mimicking human speech and song.
Four of the myna showed enough proficiency in the Mandarin language that they were dubbed the "Chinese Faction," according to the Wuhan Evening News. They were immediately put on display at the zoo's World of Birds exhibit to dazzle visitors with their linguistic acrobatics.
The "Chinese Faction" would greet visitors with "Ni Hao" or "Hello," followed immediately with a "Gong Xi Fa Cai," a traditional Chinese New Year blessing wishing one prosperity. They were also known to serenade visitors with the Chinese folk song "Oh Little Swallow, Wear Your Floral Dress."
The mynas chirped the welcoming greetings without incident for two years. But little did the Faction know that there was a rebel among them.
The mynas' caretaker, Li Yun, did a double take recently when one of the birds instructed a group of visitors to perform an aggressive sexual act on their mothers.
Li immediately separated the bird from the flock, fearing that the foulness would spread to the others.
"The bird has a good memory," Li told the Wuhan Evening News. "It's possible that some visitor taught it how to say these things."
Li mentioned that he and others have seen some visitors try to teach the birds to curse.
In the case, Li has inundated the mischievous myna with soothing pleasantries, hoping to correct its vocabulary. If it disrespected Li's mother, he said, he would deprive it of food.
The zoo has since had to warn guests that "human actions will affect the animals." Only humans, after all, can truly appreciate the low-brow humor of a foul-mouthed fowl.