SEE IT: Killer Whale Taught to ‘Speak’ Human Words in World First

A killer whale in France was trained to “speak” human words in a world first, BBC News reports.

The female 16-year-old killer whale named Wikie can mimic words like “hello,” “bye bye,” and “one, two, three.”

Wikie was taught to speak through her blowhole.

Whales and dolphins are able to mimic a new sounds just by hearing it.

“In mammals it is very rare,” Dr. Josep Call, who worked on the study, told the BBC. “Humans obviously are good at it… Interestingly, the mammals that can do best are marine mammals.”

“The killer whale that we studied in captivity was capable of learning vocalisations of other killer whales and also human vocalisations by imitating them,”he said. “Therefore this result suggests this is also a plausible explanation for how killer whales in the wild learn the vocalisations of other killer whales and how they develop their dialects.”

Co-researcher Dr. Jose Abramson told the BBC that it may be possible to one day have “conversations” with Wikie.

“Yes, it’s conceivable … if you have labels, descriptions of what things are,” he said. “It has been done before with a famous grey parrot and dolphins using American sign language; sentences like ‘bring me this object’ or ‘put this object above or below the other’.”