Wild things: How rock music calms elephants down

So what would you do if confronted by an elephant in the middle of the jungle?

It's a rare problem, admittedly, but zookeepers have a simple answer - just blast out some heavy metal.

Rock legends such as Led Zeppelen have a surprising calming effect on the animals, they say.

Staff play music to the animals during their feeding and bathing ritual to improve their behaviour and they say rock legends work the best.

Elephant and zookeeper at West Midlands Safari Park

Wild thing! Zookeepers are playing rock anthems to calm elephants in their mornings

The calls of Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Metallica and Def Leopard instantly calm three elephants at the safari park.

And when the rock anthems are turned off, the stroppy teenagers - Jack, 16, Lataba, 16, and Five, 17 - throw tantrums and start pacing up and down.

Keeper Bob Lawrence said: 'We always played music to the elephants for around ten years, but they are really calmed by the heavy rock tones.

'I wouldn't change the music over now because the elephants love it so much.

'It's just such a good distraction for them and a good way to keep them calm.

A previous study earlier this month at Belfast zoo found that elephants were calmed by the sounds of Classical composers.

Researchers found that playing tracks like Beethoven's fifth reduced abnormal behaviours such as swaying, pacing and trunk tossing.

But Bob said: 'Ours really love rock.

'I'm really surprised that such a noise can instil such tranquillity, maybe it reminds them of the noise of the jungle at home.' 

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