National Zoo Elephant Has A Talent: Harmonica

By: AP
By: AP
Shanthi, an elephant at the Smithsonian

Elephants Shanthi and son Kandula at the National Zoo. (AP Photo, 2002)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- An elephant named Shanthi at the Smithsonian's National Zoo is developing her musical talents by playing a harmonica with her trunk.

Video released Wednesday by the zoo in Washington shows the 36-year-old Asian elephant 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.


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