An elephant at a South Korean zoo has learned to imitate the human voice and have a vocabulary of a few words, researchers said on Friday.
Koshik, an Asian bull elephant who was 22 years old at the zoo Everland in Yongin, a city located in southern Seoul, welcomed the visiting journalists by saying choah (good) and nuo (lying).
He can also give voice Annyong (hi), anja (seated), and Aniya (not), according to a team of scientists from South Korea and Europe were studied vocalizations.
Elephants can not use their lips to remove such people, because their upper lips together with a nose that make their trunks.
However, Koshik formulate words by rolling trunk and put it in her mouth. He then put the tip of his trunk on the tongue or on the roof of his mouth to make different sounds.
The researchers say that they are not really sure how the elephant has such capabilities, but they believe that Koshik learn the words of the coach who has 19 years of coaching, Kim Jong-Gap.
“The only social bond Koshik created along with his coach, and we think that he is learning and imitating those words to form a relationship and trust with Kim,” said Oh Suk-Hun, a veterinarian at Everland and member of the research team, the journalists.