Elephant Plays Harmonica At Washington National Zoo (VIDEO)

Huffington Post UK  |  By Posted: 04/05/2012 11:36 Updated: 04/05/2012 11:41

Shanti Elephant
Shanthi the musical elephant is causing a flap

An elephant who can play the harmonica is causing a flap at Washington's National Zoo, with her perchant for music-making astonishing audiences worldwide.

After zookeepers noticed Shanthi the elephant's hunkering for harmony they installed a special elephant-friendly harmonica on her stall.

The 36-year-old pachyderm can then inhale and exhale along the mounted instrument to create an elephant a capella.

A zookeeper at the Smithsonian National Zoo, Debbie Flinkman, told Zoomin TV:

"We have noticed over the years that Shanthi very much likes to explore her environment by tapping the tip of her trunk against these [fences], as they're hollow they make a sound. Or she likes to flap her ears against objects that we hang and toys to see if that will make a noise."

Now Asian elephant Shanthi has her very own music-maker, she plays even when there is no one around, reports Associated Press.

"She doesn't just blow it a few times and then go away but she stays there at length." Flinkman explains, adding that she never rewards Shanti for her music, but that she does it for her own amusement.

Shanthi has her own particular style according to Flinkman, who characterises her elephantine euphony as always ending with a booming crescendo.

Listen to her melodies above, and for more elephant music take a gander at this cute baby elephant below, who also made a song and a dance of it.

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