(CNN)-An Australian musk duck has been recorded saying “You bloody fool” in the first documented instance of the species mimicking human speech.
A hand-reared male named Ripper was recorded imitating the phrase during a courtship display, according to a study. The authors said he could have learned it from his caretaker.
“The Australian musk duck demonstrates an unexpected and impressive ability for vocal learning,” the study said. The report also details how Ripper imitated the sound of a door opening and closing.
There are many species of ducks and geese that are bred in captivity, and there haven’t been any reports of them showing an ability to mimic human sounds, study author Carel ten Cate.
“It’s quite exceptional then to come across a species which apparently has the ability to mimic these sounds,” he said.
Songbirds, parrots and hummingbirds are known to exhibit this vocal learning ability, but this is the first fully documented instance of musk ducks exhibiting vocal learning, said ten Cate, a researcher and professor of animal behavior at the Institute of Biology Leiden, at Leiden University, the Netherlands.
“It’s not exactly a human voice, but very voice like,” he said. “It’s mimicking quite well.”