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Park in tribute to swearing parrot

Tributes have been paid to a much-loved parrot who was a popular attraction in a local park despite his foul-beaked abuse of visitors.

Max, an African grey, who was found dead at his aviary in Darlington's South Park, was well-known for his fruity language, which won him invitations to appear on TV with Paul O'Grady and sweary chef Gordon Ramsay.

Max had learned to say "f*** off", but there was more to him than coarse language, said park ranger Debbie Hall said.

"Parrots are very intelligent," she said. "He picked up words and noises that got him attention.

"He was very good at the sound reversing bin wagons make, he could do the sound of a car's central locking, and he had a very good evil laugh.

"He had a very good wolf whistle as well. People would say there was somebody whistling at them and they would be told 'Don't worry about it, it's the parrot'.

"He very quickly became a popular feature."

Ms Hall said that in recent years Max went off swearing when his bad language stopped getting as much attention, and he moved on to other behaviour.

"He was very cheeky and he had his own personality," she said.

"I'm going to miss him."

The park will have a permanent tribute to Max in the form of a sculpture.

Two female parrots have been donated to the park and they will take his place in the aviary.

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