DENVER (CBS4) — The giraffes at the Denver Zoo had a front row seat to a special show by the Colorado Symphony Tuesday. It was an unusual experience for both the musicians and the animals. Zookeepers have played music for the giraffes before, but there’s never been a live performance.

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Dobby the giraffe seemed to especially enjoy the performance — and even hopped along to the music, and leaned in for a closer look at the musicians.

A string quartet from the Colorado Symphony played Mozart Divertimento No. 3 in G major in front of the giraffe habitat.

“The flawless sounds of two violins, one viola and a cello radiated across the yard, immediately catching the attention of the entire herd,” zoo officials said. “Dobby, the Zoo’s famous two-year-old giraffe, with his ears perked up and neck craned in curiosity, quickly ventured over to investigate the sounds and musicians.”

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“We didn’t know what to expect. So, we weren’t sure if they would be nervous, excited, or bouncy, which is a sign of excitement,” said Denver Zoo Giraffe Keeper Amanda Faliano. “Dobby showed a lot of cool behaviors. Sometimes he would kick, and sometimes he was just watching on high alert, both of which are signs of excitement and interest.”

Colorado Symphony Violinist Larisa Fesmire added, “I never thought our classical career would be at the Zoo. I’m glad they seemed to like the music more than my dogs do at home when I’m practicing!”

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Musicians from the Colorado Symphony went on to play impromptu concerts for other animals around the Zoo, including Tensing, 11, the pregnant greater one-horned rhino, and the Zoo’s Sumatran orangutan family made up of Berani, 26, Nias, 31, Hesty, 9, and Cerah, 1.

“All the animals involved—humans and nonhumans, alike—expressed amazement and enjoyment in what turned out to be an experiment to prove that music is, indeed, a universal language,” zoo officials stated.

(credit: CBS)

“We love finding ways to work with fellow Science and Cultural Facilities District organizations, especially when there’s an opportunity to do something unique and unexpected for our animals, guests, staff and the entire community,” Jake Kubié, Director of Communications at Denver Zoo, stated. “That was certainly the case with this collaboration—and I think it’s something everyone is really going to love!”


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