This incredible video shows the moment rescued seals were entertained by a FLAUTIST – after carers realised the animals are calmed by classical music.
Staff at the Cornish Seal Sanctuary in Gweek first realised the creatures enjoyed the fliute when a student, Mati Skerrett, performed a research project.
Mati discovered that classical music soothed the nerves of the rescued seals, most of which are wild and can get anxious around people or in enclosures.
The staff were so moved by the results that they hired Claire Rowe, a professional flautist, to come and perform live for the rescued seals.
Claire, from Falmouth, performed a mixture of classical melodies and traditional Christmas tunes to her audience.
The live trial was such a success the sanctuary is going to install a music system and speakers to play the music more regularly.
She said: “It was certainly one of the strangest bookings I’ve ever received. It was a wonderful experience, and they really did seem to calm down as I played.”
The animal care team at the Cornish Seal Sanctuary has been flat out caring for 40 rescued pups so far this winter, which is usually a difficult time.
But with the help of the flautist, staff have found their animals are more placid and easier to care for.
Tamara Cooper, a curator at the sanctuary, said: “Over the summer months we had a student come down and do a research project looking at how classical music effects our animals here at the sanctuary.
“She found that it really calmed our animals down when there might be a period of stress or some change for them.
“What the student found was that it significantly reduces anxiety and makes them much calmer as well.
“Coming up to pup season we thought we would send out a request to find a classical musician to come and play to our animals at the seal hospital and down here at the pools to see if it had a similar effect.
“What we found is that it does seem to calm them down.
“They are usually quite vocal, the animals that come into us are wild animals, they’re not use to being around people and certainly not in buildings in the hospital.
“It seems to really have had a positive effect on them.
“It was fantastic to have Claire perform in the hospital and down at the convalescence pool, the seals certainly enjoyed it.
“We will be getting some speakers set up on site so we can play all our residents classical music in the mornings as we know they find it relaxing.”