Looking to give back, Creative Arts Therapist and Clinical Musician, Alison Ware began volunteering at the National Zoo and Aquarium, outside of her day job.

However, it wasn’t long until her two passions began merging together, when Alison started performing for some of the Zoo’s residents.

Through her work, she has a strong interest in how music can have an effect on animals.

As a result, the residents at the Zoo were given front row seats to some amazing harp performances.

With a range of harp options available depending on the animal’s preferences, Alison pulls her strings to help the creatures unwind.

Primate Keeper, Georgia Clark said Alison’s work is already proving popular amongst its residents.

“They’ll actually come down, as close as they can get to Alison and they’ll stop and listen, even some of our larger carnivores such as our lions.”

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“Even though the animals may not be hearing a harp in the wild, it’s something different for them to think about when often our other enrichment is something to explore, whereas this is something mentally stimulating.”

While it’s still early days, early research suggests the music is already helping to relax, comfort, reduce stress and help with separation anxiety amongst the animals at the zoo.