Elephant mimics Korean with help of his trunk

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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.

Here, Koshik interacts with his trainer. The conversation goes as follows:

Koshik: "choah" (good)

Trainer: "choah choah annyeong" (good good hello)

Koshik: "choah" (good)

Trainer: "choah choah annyeong" (good good hello)

Koshik: "choah" (good)

Trainer: "choah choah" (good good)

Koshik: "choah" (good)

Trainer: "annyeong" (hello)

Koshik: "choah" (good)

Trainer: "annyeong" (hello)

Footage courtesy of Angela Stoeger and Current Biology

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