Elephant In D.C. Has Talent For Playing Harmonica

WASHINGTON (AP) — A 36-year-old Asian elephant named Shanthi is developing her musical talents by playing harmonicas and other instruments within the reach of her trunk.

In a video released Wednesday by the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington, Shanthi has a harmonica attached to her stall and plays tunes even when no humans are around.

Elephant keeper Debbie Flinkman says Shanthi is musically inclined, playing her own songs that always have a big crescendo at the end. Shanthi also likes to tap things, flap her ears against objects to make noise and rub her leg up and down shrubs to repeat noises.

Flinkman says she doesn’t make Shanthi play the harmonica. It’s something she enjoys.

Shanthi was a gift from Sri Lanka and is the mother of 10-year-old Kandula.


(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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