Blind elephant ‘dances’ to piano music played to her by man in the wild

Jul 19, 2018
10:33 A.M.
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This British man works at an elephant rescue sanctuary, and shared a beautiful video he made of himself soothing a blind elephant in the most unusual way.


British pianist Paul Barton lives at Elephants World rescue center, Thailand, where he plays music to the 28 sick, old, and disabled elephants in his care that live at the center to help in keeping them calm.

A recent video that the pianist shared to his YouTube account shows the man playing a Bach tune to an elderly female elephant, who has been blind almost since she was born.

In the wonderful footage the 62-year-old elephant, whose name is Lam Duan, sways her head and trunk to the music, almost in a trance-like state.


The beautiful footage was posted less than 3 weeks ago, but already has over 300,000 views.

Lam Duan means “Tree with Yellow Flowers,” and is a wonderfully fitting name for the majestic creature.

"I was heartbroken when I first saw Lam Duan arrive at Elephants World in 2012. She's so restless. When you play music to her, she stops being restless and is calm. Being blind, she'll sway back and forth," Barton explained.


For the first 20 years of her life, the beautiful animal was forced to work in the logging trade. After that, she spent 10 years working in the trekking industry. For 30 years after that, a pair of owners attempted to care for her.

Barton has been living at the sanctuary with his wife, Khwan, for a number of years, and regularly plays music for the elephants to soothe them.

While some of the elephants can become aggresive, Barton prefers to have them in as natural an environment as possible, and just gages the animal's reaction to whatever music he's playing.

Barton often shares videos of his performances for the elephants to his YouTube channel in an effort to raise awareness of the sanctuary.

"The piano is out in the mountains, so it's completely free - the elephant can do what it wants. These elephants are standing close to you, and there's kind of a connection that you can't explain in words," Barton said.

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