UNITED NEWS INTERNATIONAL (UNI) — A killer whale at a marine park in France has learned to copy human speech.
Footage of the whale, mimicking her trainer’s voice, went viral on Jan. 31.
The trainer says, “hello”.
The whale responds with “hello”.
The whale, named Wikie, can also repeat the words “bye,” “one, two, three,” and her trainer’s name, Amy. She was taught to mimic these words using her blowhole.
Scientists studied Wikie at the Marineland Aquarium in France. The results, published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society, suggest killer whales can learn new vocalizations by imitating others.
Authors of the study say the results provide some insight into how whales learn in their natural habitat and are a good indicator of what killer whales are capable of.