Food, Travel and Tech

This naughty parrot was caught ordering items off Amazon's Alexa — here's how much he spent

Rocco with Marion Wischnewski.

Polly want Alexa? Apparently so.

Amazon's Alexa is used to taking orders, whether it's to add milk to the shopping list or to play a song like "Baby Shark." But for one Echo, those orders came from a parrot.

As a stray bird, Rocco — an African grey parrot — was taken into care by a charity in the United Kingdom called the National Animal Welfare Trust. But Rocco had a penchant for using bad language, the charity says, so staff member Marion Wischnewski volunteered to take him in.

At Wischnewski's house, Rocco developed another unusual habit — talking to Wischnewski's Amazon Alexa device.

In April, Wischnewski discovered that Rocco the parrot had been ordering from Alexa when she asked the voice assistant to review her shopping list aloud (one of the device's many features). It turns out Rocco had ordered strawberries and broccoli, worth about $3.

"Luckily, we never had the products delivered because we've set it up that you have to log on to actually process the order, so we could cancel the items," Wischnewski tells CNBC Make It.

A blog post on the National Animal Welfare Trust's website also states that Rocco has asked Alexa for treats like watermelon, raisins and ice cream, and that sometimes, Wischnewski returned home to find Rocco playing romantic music.

"I've never had any concerns with Alexa," Wischnewski says. "The whole family uses it as it's in the main part of the house. I guess that's why Rocco got used to Alexa because we all talk to it, so he's just joining in."

Since then, Wischnewski has set up the device to work only with a PIN code. Of course, since Wischnewski and her family say the PIN out loud, she notes, "there is always a chance he could learn [the PIN], but so far, he hasn't."

This isn't the first time someone who shouldn't be ordering off Alexa has been caught in the act; a 6-year-old in Texas once reportedly ordered a $160 dollhouse and 4 pounds of sugar cookies from the device, and another 6-year-old in Utah ordered $350 worth of Barbies and a toy pony from her mom's Alexa account.

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