The zoo revealed they wanted the rhino to use his prehensile lip and have the kind of fun he doesn't get to enjoy every day.
As a wild birthday boy named Bandhu turned a year older, he was allowed to show off his talent to the world in a delightful way. The male greater one-horned rhino, living at the Denver Zoo, gave quite the performance as he fired away on the keys of a little keyboard. Caretakers at the zoo were celebrating Bandhu's 12th birthday with him and decided it would be a great idea to present an instrument to the one-horned rhino. And within no time, Bandhu showed that he didn't need fingers to make his musical notes grab the internet's attention.
The Denver Zoo shared Bandhu's original composition on social media, and they wrote on Instagram, "Happy Birthday, Bandhu! Our resident male greater one-horned rhino turns 12 today! It might be his birthday, but Bandhu wanted to treat you all to a special song he wrote all by himself." "Using his prehensile lip to compose a tune is just one of the many ways we can use enrichment to mentally and physically stimulate the birthday boy," the post went on to say. "Look out for Bandhu in Toyota Elephant Passage on your next visit to Denver Zoo!"
The name Bandhu translates to "friend" in Sanskrit, and the zoo revealed that they wanted to give the rhino a different kind of fun that he normally doesn't get to enjoy. According to PEOPLE, the Denver Zoo said Bandhu "is rewarded for participating in this type of enrichment."
"We're just trying to get him to use that prehensile lip and enjoy some tactile and auditory sensations that he doesn't get every day," they added in their statement. The video of the rockstar rhino was widely shared and many commented, showering praises on the animal. "Give that man an Emmy!" said one comment while another said: "This song slaps—I would buy it on iTunes. 🥰😂 Happy bday, Bandhu!" A few years back, the Smithsonian's National Zoo also shared a video of Orangutan Bonnie showing the magic they can brew when there is a xylophone in front of them.
"With the tap of a finger, orangutan musician Bonnie plays the xylophone like a pro!" the zoo wrote in their YouTube description. "Our great apes already participate in critical thinking studies using a touch screen as part of their #ZooEnrichment. With music, keepers hope to tap into the orangutans' creative side!"
As part of the #ZooEnrichment program, the Smithsonian's National Zoo also gave a bunch of Asian small-clawed otters a gala time by letting them have some fun with a keyboard. The zoo said on YouTube, "The otters are given the choice to play the keyboard or just sit back and enjoy the show—engaging their sight, touch, and hearing senses."
Cover image source: Denver Zoo/YouTube