Researchers at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile trained an orca named Wikie to mimic words like "hello," "bye-bye," and other human speech sounds. John Lilly, I wish you were around to be part of this conversation. From the New York Times:
“We wanted to study vocal imitation because it’s a hallmark of human spoken language, which is in turn important for human cultural evolution,” said José Zamorano-Abramson, who led the study as a postdoctoral researcher at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile.
Her head above water, Wikie the killer whale looks at the human trainer next to her pool, listens, then loudly vocalises: "Hello."
Researchers trained an orca to mimic human sounds like, “hello,” “Amy” and “bye-bye,” which could contribute to understanding of the behavior and culture of killer whales in the wild.
Researchers in France have been working with an Orca that can mimic words like "hello." But the killer whale isn't exactly having a full conversation. CBS News correspondent Mark Phillips explains.
It is the first scientific demonstration of an orca mimicking human words, which also included "Amy" -- the name of Wikie's handler -- "Bye-Bye", and "One-Two-Three". "We were not expecting a perfect match, like a parrot," researche...