Park News - (11/5/12) In a truly wild development, an elephant at the Everland Zoo in South Korea has been confirmed as have learning to speak a few select words of human vocabulary. The original claims from the park staff have been confirmed by an international team of scientists that Koshik, a 22-year old male elephant, can reproduce certain human words by tucking his trunk inside his mouth.
Koshik has so far been confirmed as being able to speak five words in Korean which translate to: Hello, Sit Down, No, Lie Down and Good. He is also rumored to occasional speak the word for “Not Yet”, but the team was unable to confirm this particular word during their study. Koshik was separated from the other elephants at age 5 and only had the park’s trainers to bond with, and they have determined that the frequency of the words he speaks does match that used by his trainers.
The mimicking action may be more akin to how Parrots will mimic a human voice, as they have not determined if Koshik has any understanding of what he is saying just yet. However, unlike how a Parrot will simply mimic human speech with his own mouth, Koshik’s learned ability to stick his trunk in his mouth to create the needed sounds and vibrations that he is unable to produce any other way is truly a unique learned behavior.
2014 - Nothing is known at this point in time, nothing was added in 2013 either...