Ripper, a talking duck, was captured on tape imitating his human carer and conversing in a human-like manner.
On a tape-recorded in 1987 by now Australian biologist Peter J. Fullager when the talking bird was 4 years age, Ripper speaks ‘fowl’ language, saying things like ‘you bloody fool.’
Carel ten Cate, an animal behavior professor at Leiden University in the Netherlands, discovered the tape years after while researching the origins of how birds acquire their sound patterns.
Professor ten Cate stumbled found Australian audio of Jack the Ripper imitating the sound of a door shutting and continuously muttering “you bloody fool” while studying the subject.
Professor ten Cate explained, “Vocal learning is an uncommon and unusual talent, therefore this duck is notably special.”
When reared in the wild, Australian aquatic birds learn shrieky whistles from their own breed, but when nurtured confined, they will learn to replicate the noises they hear.
Professor ten Cate learned that Ripper was hand-raised in Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve with no other musk ducks near him, causing him to imitate his owner’s voice when attempting to impress females.
Fullager also released recordings from 2000 of a male musk duck that was reared with Pacific black ducks and learned to mimic their quacks.
Only masculine musk ducks have been seen imitating sounds, but feminine musk ducks do not.
‘When I initially heard these tales, I thought to myself, ‘Oh, this had to be a pretty clever prank,” Prof. ten Cate explained.
‘However, they come from well-known researchers and birdkeepers, and the studies are quite trustworthy.’ These ducks appear to be learning something about vocalizations from an early age.’
Professor ten Cate saw musk ducks that reproduced the noises of a snorting pony, a coughing caregiver, and squeaky doors during his investigation.
Male musk ducks are generally too violent to be maintained in captivity, therefore such records are uncommon, he added.
Musk ducks are Australian natives that receive their name from the odor they produce while courting the opposite gender.
The big, thick black and brown feathers that they have are well-known. Males do have a ‘large bulbous lobe of the skin’ that hangs from their beak and inflates while they’re looking for a mate.
Female musk ducks are smaller and have a lobe beneath their beak that is relatively small.
Listen to the astonishing moment an Australian duck named Ripper exclaims, “You bloody fool,” in the video below. Let us know what you think in the comments section.