Wikie, a 14-year-old female Orca or Killer Whale, has made history by becoming the world’s first talking killer whale. She lives in captivity at Marineland in Antibes, France, and has been recorded saying words like “hello” and “bye bye”, counting up to three, and even saying the name of her trainer, “Amy”.
Researchers have recorded and analyzed Wikie’s vocalizations and found that she can make recognizable copies of all the six phrases they said to her. She picked them up within 17 tries and even got two of the human sounds right on her very first attempt.
This groundbreaking study has shown that whales have the ability to mimic and learn human speech, opening up new avenues for research into their communication abilities.
The findings have also raised questions about the welfare of captive whales and the importance of protecting them in their natural habitats. While Wikie’s ability to mimic human speech is impressive, it is important to remember that captive whales face a host of challenges that can affect their physical and mental well-being.
Despite these concerns, Wikie’s achievement is a remarkable testament to the intelligence and adaptability of these magnificent creatures. The world may never be the same again now that we know that we can communicate with the largest animals on Earth.