Orca Learns How to Imitate Human Speech

StoryfulNewsPublished: February 1, 2018
Published: February 1, 2018

A study published on January 31 shows orcas can imitate human speech, in some cases at the first attempt. Research also showed that orcas can copy unfamiliar sounds produced by other orcas. The 14-year-old orca involved in the study was trained in a variety of exercises and was rewarded with fish or tactile positive reinforcement. The first video recorded at the Marineland in France, shows Wikie the orca imitate the word ‘hello’ before eating a fish. The second video also recorded at the Marineland in France shows Wikie and Moana (the second orca featured in the study) make animated sounds in response to their trainers’ commands. Credit: Dr José Zamorano-Abramson/University of Edinburgh via Storyful

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