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Feature
Thai Elephants
OCTOBER 2005
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Audio: Elephant Orchestra
Video: Vanishing Giants
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Who would ever think that elephants have an aptitude for creating music? Dave Soldier and Richard Lair do. With help from mahouts and staff members of the Thai Elephant Conservation Center, they organized a band of six domesticated elephants, crafted instruments, and set out to prove their point. These recordings from the CD Elephonic Rhapsodies reveal elephants' creative side. Although mahouts may encourage the animals to play by moving their arms to mimic the movement of an elephant's trunk, the pachyderms select the notes and rhythms on their own. Do the sounds they make really translate into music? Listen to these three selections, and judge for yourself.

Watch segments of the documentary that inspired this month's feature article.

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