How Wikie The Talking Orca Has Sparked Fears Of New Animal Tourist Attractions

Coercing animals like Wikie the orca to perform human behaviours such as counting and speaking is unnatural and could drive a worrying trend to turn wildlife into tourist attractions, campaigners have warned.

The 16-year-old killer whale’s communication skills were put to the test at her home at Marineland aquarium, in Antibes, where it was found she could mimic words such as “hello” and “Amy” and count “one, two, three”.

Although some wildlife campaigners have warned against such experiments, many animal behaviourists welcomed the revelation of Wikie’s communication skills. A study also found she could speak human words through her blowhole.



Eric Gaillard / Reuters
Killer whale Wikie (R) swims with her calf in Marineland aquatic park in Antibes, southeastern France.

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