“Hello!” says the human. “Hello!” pipes the orca right back.
It’s not a children’s movie, but an actual orca emitting human(ish) words. An international team of researchers has taught Wikie, a 14 year-old killer whale in France, to mimic certain simple bits of speech, a discovery that gives them insight into wild orca dialects.
Repeat After Me
In all, Wikie learned six words, in addition to five orca sounds that she didn’t know before. The phrases included “hello,” “ah ha,” “one, two,”