Tickling the ivories! Playful elephant dances and uses his trunk to help a pianist play


Tickling the ivories! Playful elephant dances and uses his trunk to help a pianist play

  • Peter the elephant lives in Thailand and usually gets playful in the cool evenings 
  • Pianist Paul Barton went to visit the elephant village and play songs for animals 
  • Footage shows Peter dancing along and using his trunk to help Mr Barton play a 12-bar blues song 

This is the joyous moment a playful elephant joins in and dances as a pianist plays a tune.  

Peter the elephant, who lives at the Royal Elephant Kraal Village in Thailand, spontaneously joined in with a pianist playing a 12-bar blues song with his trunk. 

Footage shows Peter use his trunk to hit the piano keys and play along with the pianist, Paul Barton. 

Peter the playful elephant was caught on camera joining in as pianist Paul Barton played an upbeat tune for in an elephant village in Thailand

Peter the playful elephant was caught on camera joining in as pianist Paul Barton played an upbeat tune for in an elephant village in Thailand

As Peter gets into the swing of things he starts to bob his head up and down while the elephant next to him wiggles its bottom

As Peter gets into the swing of things he starts to bob his head up and down while the elephant next to him wiggles its bottom

Elephants are usually more relaxed and playful in the cooler times of the early evening before nightfall.

When Peter really gets into his groove he starts bobbing his head in time with the music while the elephant next to him starts to wiggle its bottom. 

Peter has also been known to try and join in when Mr Barton played the clarinet for the elephants who live in the village. 

Peter’s ‘mahout’ – a person that devotes their life to looking after an elephant – called Pat can be seen standing next to him. 

Pat occasionally strokes Peter’s face in an attempt to remind him not to get too carried away and smash the piano keys with his heavy trunk.

Elephants are known to be very creative and can even be trained to paint pictures on canvas.  

In 2000 conservationist Richard Lair put together an elephant ‘orchestra’ which saw 16 elephants play specially developed instruments like steel drums and even harmonicas.



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