Thailand's Pachyderm Philharmonic

In Thailand, the music is elegant. And the elephants are everywhere -- an icon of Thai history. So why not put them together?

And tune up an elephant orchestra.

There's Lu-Ko on the drum and Lu-Pong on the xylophone.

Leading the band is Richard Lair, a Californian who's devoted his life to study and save Thailand's elephants at a preserve in northern Thailand.

"You just put them in front of that instrument and they're transfixed," Lair told CBS News Correspondent Barry Petersen.

A little history here. More than 100,000 elephants once roamed Thailand, often used in the timber industry to haul logs.

Today, barely 2,500 remain.

They eke out a living delighting tourists, with more than a few thrills tossed in.

But a pachyderm philharmonic?

"Beauty is in the eye, or the ear, of the beholder," said Lair.

What can we say? Roll over Beethoven -- there's a new sound in town.

  • Bootie Cosgrove-Mather



Live Video

Follow Us

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.

On Twitter