That’s one fowl-mouthed duck.
An Australian musk duck named Ripper has been recorded repeatedly saying “you bloody fool” after learning to imitate humans.
Newly surfaced audio of Ripper’s rant was included in research published in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B journal on Monday.
The swearing musk duck was hand-reared at the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve near Australia’s capital Canberra back in the 1980s.
Ripper, who was just four years old when the recordings were made, is believed to have learned the phrase from his handler.
The duck also learned how to imitate the sound of his aviary door slamming.
He is the focal point of the new research that analyzes musk duck recordings to look at how animals are capable of acquiring vocalization through learning.
Researcher Carel ten Cate of the Institute of Biology Leiden in the Netherlands spearheaded the study after hearing rumors of the Australian talking duck.
Ten Cate tracked down the footage that was recorded by Australian birder Peter Fullagar in about 1987.
“The man, Peter Fullagar, told me that the duck was hand reared and would have had heard the sound as a duckling,” Ten Cate said.
The researcher believes it may be the first documented account of a duck imitating a human.
‘This came as a big surprise. Because even though the bird was recorded 35 years ago, it remained unnoticed by researchers in the vocal learning field until now,’ Ten Cate said.
‘That makes it a very special rediscovery’.