Edition:
United States
Pictures | Thu Dec 13, 2018 | 8:25pm EST

Music for elephants

British volunteer Paul Barton plays piano for sick, abused, retired and rescued elephants in sanctuary along Thailand-Myanmar border in Kanchanaburi, Thailand, December 9, 2018. Lam Duan, a 65-year-old, blind Thai elephant is enjoying her lunch, listening to Silent Night being played on a piano. For eight years, pachyderms like Lam Duan - old, overworked and sometimes disabled - have been rehabilitated with music at Elephants World, a retirement sanctuary for the animals in the western Thai province of Kanchanaburi.

REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun

British volunteer Paul Barton plays piano for sick, abused, retired and rescued elephants in sanctuary along Thailand-Myanmar border in Kanchanaburi, Thailand, December 9, 2018. Lam Duan, a 65-year-old, blind Thai elephant is enjoying her lunch,...more

British volunteer Paul Barton plays piano for sick, abused, retired and rescued elephants in sanctuary along Thailand-Myanmar border in Kanchanaburi, Thailand, December 9, 2018. Lam Duan, a 65-year-old, blind Thai elephant is enjoying her lunch, listening to Silent Night being played on a piano. For eight years, pachyderms like Lam Duan - old, overworked and sometimes disabled - have been rehabilitated with music at Elephants World, a retirement sanctuary for the animals in the western Thai province of Kanchanaburi. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun
Close
1 / 10
Elephants eat their breakfast as they listen British volunteer Paul Barton plays piano. Almost 80 percent of about 3,000 elephants at tourist venues in Thailand, Cambodia, India, Laos, Nepal and Sri Lanka, endure poor living conditions and diets and are overworked, according to the animal welfare group World Animal Protection. The animals at Elephants World get good food and treatment for their physical ailments, but the music is an extra, special treat they appear to love.

REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun

Elephants eat their breakfast as they listen British volunteer Paul Barton plays piano. Almost 80 percent of about 3,000 elephants at tourist venues in Thailand, Cambodia, India, Laos, Nepal and Sri Lanka, endure poor living conditions and diets and...more

Elephants eat their breakfast as they listen British volunteer Paul Barton plays piano. Almost 80 percent of about 3,000 elephants at tourist venues in Thailand, Cambodia, India, Laos, Nepal and Sri Lanka, endure poor living conditions and diets and are overworked, according to the animal welfare group World Animal Protection. The animals at Elephants World get good food and treatment for their physical ailments, but the music is an extra, special treat they appear to love. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun
Close
2 / 10
British volunteer Paul Barton unloads his piano. Several times a week, British classical pianist Barton, 57, sets up a piano against a backdrop of forested slopes and plays for his four-legged friends. "Maybe some of these blind elephants get a little bit of comfort from hearing pieces of soothing classical music occasionally," says Barton, who studied at London's Royal Academy of Arts.

REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun

British volunteer Paul Barton unloads his piano. Several times a week, British classical pianist Barton, 57, sets up a piano against a backdrop of forested slopes and plays for his four-legged friends. "Maybe some of these blind elephants get a...more

British volunteer Paul Barton unloads his piano. Several times a week, British classical pianist Barton, 57, sets up a piano against a backdrop of forested slopes and plays for his four-legged friends. "Maybe some of these blind elephants get a little bit of comfort from hearing pieces of soothing classical music occasionally," says Barton, who studied at London's Royal Academy of Arts. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun
Close
3 / 10
Paul Barton and his daughter Emily Barton, 4, play piano. Lam Duan approached Barton as he began to play and she appeared to calm down and focus on the music. At another music session, several elephants seemed to move their heads and move about in front of the piano as the notes flowed.

REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun

Paul Barton and his daughter Emily Barton, 4, play piano. Lam Duan approached Barton as he began to play and she appeared to calm down and focus on the music. At another music session, several elephants seemed to move their heads and move about in...more

Paul Barton and his daughter Emily Barton, 4, play piano. Lam Duan approached Barton as he began to play and she appeared to calm down and focus on the music. At another music session, several elephants seemed to move their heads and move about in front of the piano as the notes flowed. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun
Close
4 / 10
A woman hugs a blind elephant before Paul Barton plays piano. The owner of the sanctuary, Samart Prasithpol, 44, said the music seemed to provide the elephants with some special comfort. "We work here to rehabilitate the elephants physically," Smart told Reuters. "The use of music has been useful in rehabilitating their soul," he said.

REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun

A woman hugs a blind elephant before Paul Barton plays piano. The owner of the sanctuary, Samart Prasithpol, 44, said the music seemed to provide the elephants with some special comfort. "We work here to rehabilitate the elephants physically," Smart...more

A woman hugs a blind elephant before Paul Barton plays piano. The owner of the sanctuary, Samart Prasithpol, 44, said the music seemed to provide the elephants with some special comfort. "We work here to rehabilitate the elephants physically," Smart told Reuters. "The use of music has been useful in rehabilitating their soul," he said. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun
Close
5 / 10
Elephants eat their breakfast as they listen to Paul Barton play piano.

REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun

Elephants eat their breakfast as they listen to Paul Barton play piano. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun

Elephants eat their breakfast as they listen to Paul Barton play piano. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun
Close
6 / 10
British volunteer Paul Barton plays piano.

REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun

British volunteer Paul Barton plays piano. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun

British volunteer Paul Barton plays piano. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun
Close
7 / 10
British volunteer Paul Barton plays piano.

REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun

British volunteer Paul Barton plays piano. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun

British volunteer Paul Barton plays piano. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun
Close
8 / 10
Emily Barton, 4, is seen before she and her father play piano.

REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun

Emily Barton, 4, is seen before she and her father play piano. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun

Emily Barton, 4, is seen before she and her father play piano. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun
Close
9 / 10
British volunteer Paul Barton plays piano.

REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun

British volunteer Paul Barton plays piano. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun

British volunteer Paul Barton plays piano. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun
Close
10 / 10

Next Slideshows

Smuggled animals

From a king cobra in a chip container to cockatoos in water bottles and fish under a dress, some of the exotic animals that are illegally trafficked around the...

Dec 13 2018

Time 'Person of Year' goes to journalists, including imprisoned Reuters pair

Time magazine named journalists, including a slain Saudi Arabian writer and a pair of Reuters journalists imprisoned by Myanmar's government, as its Person of...

Dec 11 2018

Spilled cargo

When trucks, trains and boats laden with goods lose their loads.

Dec 11 2018

Creatures caught on camera

Remote cameras capture elusive animals in their natural habitats.

Dec 07 2018

MORE IN PICTURES

Women's World Cup: Day 8

Women's World Cup: Day 8

Highlights from June 14 at the Women's World Cup in France.

Swiss women strike for equality

Swiss women strike for equality

Women across Switzerland hold a strike to highlight their wealthy nation's poor record on female rights, recreating the passion of the first such walkout 28 years ago.

Trump's Twitter history showcased in pop-up museum

Trump's Twitter history showcased in pop-up museum

The "Donald J. Trump Presidential Twitter Library," a comedic installation of Trump's Twitter history opens in Washington.

Pride worldwide

Pride worldwide

Celebrating LGBT rights around the world during Pride Month.

Toronto celebrates as Raptors win first NBA title

Toronto celebrates as Raptors win first NBA title

Revelers fill the streets of Toronto in celebration after the Toronto Raptors win their first NBA title.

Toronto Raptors win first NBA title

Toronto Raptors win first NBA title

The Toronto Raptors became the first Canadian team to win an NBA title with a 114-110 victory over the two-time defending champion Golden State Warriors that set off a country-wide celebration.

White House departures

White House departures

White House staff, advisers and government officials who have resigned or been fired under President Donald Trump, listed by the dates their departures were announced.

Photos of the week

Photos of the week

Our top photos from the past week.

Crossing the Rio Grande

Crossing the Rio Grande

Central American migrants cross the Rio Grande as they continue to press north to El Paso, Texas.

Trending Collections

Pictures

Podcast