The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Man Playing Piano to Comfort Blind Elephants Is All We Need Right Now
Update, Nov. 7: Following the publication of this post, EcoWatch received feedback from PETA and readers stating that Elephants World is not a sanctuary because its treatment of elephants includes the use of bullhooks and visitors sitting on the elephants' backs. We contacted Elephants World and a representative said that their mahouts use bullhooks to prevent stronger elephants from attacking weaker elephants or visitors. "For emergencies like this our mahouts still carry the bull hooks. For the safety of the elephants as well as the visitors," the representative said. They also said that they do not allow visitors to sit on the animals. "This was something we did many years ago, and have stopped doing since we don't feel it's completely animal friendly," the representative said.
Meet Lam Duan, a blind elephant who lives at Elephants World, a sanctuary in Kanchanaburi, Thailand. Her name translates to "tree with yellow flowers," she loves corn and jackfruit and she's got an ear for classical music.
Many of the elephants at the sanctuary are aging, or have disabilities or injuries after working in the logging industry.
Piano music for Lam Duan www.youtube.com
Barton got the idea of playing piano for the gentle giants after he and his wife came across the elephant sanctuary online.
"We liked the sound of the place being a retirement center for old, injured and handicapped former logging and trekking elephants," he explained in video, as quoted by CBS News. "So we paid them a visit. I wondered if these old rescue elephants might like to listen to some slow classical music."
The elephant sanctuary, which is home to more than 30 domestic elephants, agreed to let him bring a piano to the site.
Chopin “Raindrop Prelude" on Piano for VERY Old Elephant www.youtube.com
Barton said the first time he played piano for the animals, a blind and ailing elephant stopped eating his breakfast when he heard Beethoven, according to CBS.
"[He] was often in pain," the pianist said of the elephant in a video. "I like to think maybe the soothing the music gave him some comfort in the darkness." The elephant eventually died of an infection, which Barton was "heartbroken" over.
The elephants really appear to respond to the soothing melodies of Bach, Chopin, Ravel, Debussy and more. They flap their ears, they edge closer to the piano, and one adorable youngster even tried to clink out a few notes with its trunk.
"Piano for Mother and Baby Elephant" Vlog #3 www.youtube.com
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner
Over six gallons of water are required to produce one gallon of wine. "Irrigation, sprays, and frost protection all [used in winemaking] require a lot of water," explained winemaker and sommelier Keith Wallace, who's also a professor and the founder of the Wine School of Philadelphia, the largest independent wine school in the U.S. And water waste is just the start of the climate-ruining inefficiencies commonplace in the wine industry. Sustainably speaking, climate change could be problematic for your favorite glass of wine.
By Jeff Turrentine
From day to day, our public health infrastructure — the people and systems we've put in place to keep populations, as opposed to individuals, healthy — largely goes unnoticed. That's because when it's working well, its success takes the form of utter normalcy.
Cell Phone Tracking Analysis Shows Where Florida Springbreakers and New Yorkers Fleeing Coronavirus Went to Next
By Eoin Higgins
A viral video showing cell phone data collected by location accuracy company X-Mode from spring break partiers potentially spreading the coronavirus around the U.S. has brought up questions of digital privacy even as it shows convincingly the importance of staying home to defeat the disease.