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Talking Aussie Duck Learned How To Say ‘You Bloody Fool’ Off Its Owner


Talking Aussie Duck Learned How To Say ‘You Bloody Fool’ Off Its Owner

The world has been shocked by an audio recording of a talking duck in Australia who had learned a classic phrase.

Ripper miraculously mimicked the words of people around it and managed to bizarrely spit out something resembling 'you bloody fool'.

The duck was four years old when the recording was captured by Dr Peter Fullagar more than three decades ago, according to the Guardian.

His research has recently resurfaced thanks to a Dutch scientist who wanted to explore evidence of ducks being able to communicate with human vocalisations.


Prof Carel ten Cate of Leiden University unearthed the bizarre recordings that show the bird raised in captivity at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, south west of Canberra, could 'speak'.

Ten Cate said: "When I read it at first I thought, 'it's a hoax, it can't be true.' But it turned out to be true."

He's published his findings in the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, where he noted: "These sounds have been described before, but were never analysed in any detail and went so far unnoticed by researchers of vocal learning.


"The imitations were produced during the males' advertising display. The hand-reared male used at least three different vocalizations in the display context, with each one produced in the same stereotyped and repetitive structure as the normal display sounds.

"Sounds of different origins could be combined in one vocalization and at least some of the imitations were memorized at an early age, well before they were produced later in life."

However, the scientist isn't entirely convinced Ripper is saying 'you bloody fool'.

The professor reckons the duck could be trying to imitate the word 'food' and imagined Ripper's caretaker saying 'here is your bloody food' when it was feeding time.


It's hard to distinguish between the L and a D when it's coming from recordings of a duck from more than 30 years ago, however it's still hilarious that 'bloody' has managed to make its way in there.

While Ripper's vocalisations are astounding, it isn't the only of its kind that has managed to wow researchers.

According to the Guardian, Dr Peter Fullagar managed to find a different duck at the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve that was able mimic other duck species.

There's also two ducks in the UK who have been able to vocalise the sounds of 'coughing and a snorting pony', as well as 'the characteristic cough of his bird keeper and also of a squeak of a turnstile'.


Duck vocalisations are formed very early in its development and can be very much influenced but who or what is around it at that stage.

Featured Image Credit: Richard Crook (Flickr)

Topics: Australia

Stewart Perrie
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