An Asian elephant called Koshik has astounded scientists with his Korean language skills.
Researchers report that the mammal has learnt to imitate human speech and can say five words in Korean: hello, no, sit down, lie down and good.
The zoo animal places the tip of his trunk into his mouth to transform his natural low rumble into a convincing impression of a human voice.
Dr. Angela Stoeger, from the University of Vienna, flew here to verify the claims. She told the BBC:
“We asked native Korean speakers, who had never experienced the elephant before, to write down what they understood when we played back recordings from Koshik.
“We found a high agreement of the overall meaning.”
This certainly doesn’t bode well for my pride –considering Koreans often have trouble understanding my pronunciation and yet, an elephant vocalizing with his trunk in his mouth is perfectly recognizable. Oh, the pachydermity!
Granted, he is an Asian elephant, but perhaps Korean Air can sign Koshik up as a spokesanimal for its Seoul to Kenya route.
[HT to reader]