Watch: If you say hello to this dolphin, she will say hello right back. Also byebye.
How to have a conversation with an orca.
Doctor Dolittle isn’t the only one who can talk to animals. Maybe everyone can, when it comes to the orca or killer whale. (Interestingly, killer whales don’t kill humans, though they might help kill whales. And they’re dolphins.)
Recent research has shown that orcas can mimic sounds and words by listening to human speak. The New York Times reported that following a study at the Marineland Aquarium in Antibes in France, a resident orca named Wikie was able to mimic the sounds made by his trainer.
In the video above, the trainer can be heard saying “hello” to the orca, who promptly replies, imitating her trainer. Wikie has learnt to say the words “hello”, “byebye”, and “Amy”, and even count to three. Here is the audio clip of Wikie imitating the words spoken by her trainer. She can also blow a pretty good raspberry.