Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Play Classical Music to Calm Yourself and Your Elephant

The Science Correspondent for The Guardian reports:

“The rousing, patriotic sweep of Elgar's Nimrod, the mournful tones of Nessun Dorma and the urgent eight-note allegro con brio opening to Beethoven's fifth - they have all been helping animal behaviour experts make life more comfortable for the elephants at Belfast zoo.”

“The researchers have discovered that playing classical music to the animals reduces abnormal behaviour such as swaying, pacing and trunk tossing, although they said that the elephants do not seem to have a favourite composer.”

Next time you find yourself pacing the floor, wringing your hands and tossing your trunk, try putting on some classical music and soothe yourself with Elgar or Beethoven.

Source: James Randerson, Elgar Hits Right Note for Elephants, The Guardian, 17 November 2008.

Dr Geoff Pound

Image: Looks like the elephants are dancing to “the urgent eight-note allegro con brio opening to Beethoven's fifth.”