Foul mouthing myna bird kept in isolation at Chinese zoo

Myna

A myna bird has been sentenced to solitary confinement at a zoo in central China for abusing visitors with a barrage of expletives taught by tourists.

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 Province'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, Shanghai Daily reported today.

The zoo kept banners in the exhibit to remind tourists not to teach the mynas bad language. 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 programme includes playing tapes of polite words.

If the bird says any rude words, it will not be provided food, trainers said.

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