No Free Speech for Birds in China

A member of the starling bird family, the common hill myna or Gracula religiosa is native to south and south-east Asia and is famed for its ability to imitate human speech Photo: Alamy


Chinese zookeepers have sentenced a Vietnamese bird to solitary confinement after visitors taught the animal to greet tourists with a barrage of expletives.

To avoid contaminating its cage mates, the animal, which was not named, has reportedly been placed in solitary confinement where it is undergoing “special training”.

Keen to rehabilitate the foul-mouthed bird, zookeepers have been playing it tapes containing “polite words”.

Future offenders will be deprived of food, the newspaper added.


Feathered friends close to the bird refuse to divulge the exact nature and composition of the expletives but they have voiced concern stating “Free speech for the birds is now being encroached upon by the State. We will fight it beak and claw”.