"Almost all elephants react in a visible way," said Paul Barton, 57.
They say an elephant never forgets, which is why this classical pianist gives rescued elephants musical memories to last a lifetime.
Paul Barton, 57, of East Yorkshire, England, plays classics like Bach and Beethoven to a herd of 28 elephants at Elephants World, a sanctuary located near Kanchanaburi, Thailand.
In turn, the elephants sway to the rhythm, and sometimes even sing along.
"There’s a sudden movement when the music begins,” Barton told Caters News. “Some hold their trunk in their mouth when listening, some start to sway with the rhythm of the music.”
Barton, who trained at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, was first inspired to play music to elephants after meeting Plara, a blind elephant. Barton played a song, and Plara immediately stopped eating her breakfast and listened to his music.
"Almost all elephants react in a visible way," Barton said.
When he introduces elephants to his music, Barton explained he usually starts with a slow number and adjusts based on what he thinks each elephant enjoys.
The elephants are free to come up to the piano as they please, and sometimes, even wild monkeys join them as they listen to the song.
"Some elephants get very close to the piano of their own accord. They might drape their trunk over the piano even,” he said. “These elephants are standing close to you, and there's kind of a connection that you can't explain in words."