The Talking Menagerie


SCP-XXXX is a private collection of exotic fauna kept in approximately four acres (roughly 1.6 hectares) of land within the grounds of a three-storey, 18th century stately house in ██████, Scotland. The house and grounds were previously owned by ██████ ██████, Second Earl of ██████, who died of a fatal heart attack around two months before SCP-XXXX's discovery. The Foundation has since acquired the house and land, and all previous housekeeping and animal care staff have been given Class B amnestics, removed from the estate and replaced with Foundation personnel.

The private zoo consists of thirteen enclosures housing a total of forty-seven (47) individual animals of sixteen species. Each animal in the collection has been observed to display varying capabilities of speech; while the majority are limited to a handful of basic one or two-syllable words such as "food", "water", "toy" etc., researchers have noted five individuals in particular which have a more advanced vocabulary, knowledge of more complex words such as "parabolic" and "enrichment" and are able to structure short sentences. The levels of self-awareness, intelligence, cognitive skills and understanding of human speech differs between individuals, even if they are of the same species. For example, one of the collection's eight mandrills (Mandrillus Shpinx), a female named "Tallulah", has shown significantly higher intelligence and wider vocabulary in tests than the rest of the troop.

Studies of each animal have shown no unusual physical or mental abilities other than speech. Brainwaves and DNA samples from from every subject appear normal for their respective species, while researchers can find no evidence of physical or genetic alteration in any subject. The five animals with the widest vocabulary were interviewed by Dr ██████, and their answers suggest that none of the animals were capable of human speech at all until they were brought to the Earl's estate and joined the collection. Studies have begun on the soil, water, atmosphere and radiation levels in the site and its surrounding area to determine possible causes of the anomaly.