Cussing rescue parrot forges sweet Amazon Alexa friendship

Rocco the parrot uses an Amazon Echo to boogie to Kings of Leon and order treats.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser
2 min read

Rocco the African grey parrot doesn't have the usual sort of G-rated animal rescue story. 

The stray bird came into the care of the National Animal Welfare Trust (NAWT) charity in the UK in late 2017 and soon showed his love of swear words. Rocco has since developed a charming new habit: talking to an Amazon Alexa Echo assistant.

NAWT says Rocco caused "a few issues initially in the office, by swearing regularly and throwing his water bowl around." Staff member Marion Wischnewski adopted the cute troublemaker anyway. The rescue group wants everyone to know Rocco was not kicked out of the shelter, but that he needed a special foster situation due to his bad language.

NAWT reported on Friday that Rocco has "fallen in love" with Wischnewski's Alexa device.

Wischnewski told The Sun she has to check her Amazon shopping list and cancel items the bird has ordered. NAWT says he's attempted to shop for treats, including strawberries, watermelon, raisins and ice cream. 

Despite his dirty vocabulary and passion for Amazon shopping, Wischnewsi says "he loves to dance and has the sweetest personality." She sometimes comes home to him playing romantic music through the Echo. He's also into rock band Kings of Leon.

NAWT has been surprised by Rocco's newfound internet stardom. The group hopes the parrot's amusing story will inspire people to adopt available pets, including the organization's other rescue birds, which don't know any swear words.

African grey parrots are known for their intelligence and ability to reason like a 3-year-old human. One particularly famous parrot named Alex demonstrated remarkable math and language skills, so it's not too surprising Rocco could figure out how to get along with Alexa. 

First published Dec. 14, 10:52 a.m. PT. 
Update, Dec. 19 at 9:32 a.m. PT:  Added updates from the rescue group. 

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