It’s just possible you may never have heard of Wikie. This would not be a big surprise,
because Wikie is a whale. Actually, a killer whale. He is 14 years old, and lives
in Marineland at Antibes, in France. He is quite famous, though, because he can talk.
Admittedly, Wikie doesn’t have a large vocabulary, although, in the wild, killer
whales are known to have extensive ranges of sounds, with differing accents and cultures
unique to their own ‘pods’.
Wikie was trained to recognise and repeat eleven sounds made by his trainer, and
six independent judges were on hand to assess the success of the experiment. The
judges said ‘The subject’s ... accuracy is ... remarkable as he was able to accomplish
it in response to sounds presented in-air and not in-water, the species’ usual medium
for accoustic communication.’
So pleased were Marineworld with his progress, that Wikie was booked to appear as
a guest on a quiz show on Radio Antibes, set against 14 year old humans. It was no
contest. The teenagers were woefully inarticulate, and their brief grunts simply
could not compete with the range of vocabulary exhibited by Wikie.
Plugborough Press understand that Wikie has been given her own prime-time talk show
on French TV, although producers are concerned that such a show might be too ‘high-brow’
for the general public.