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Two Galapagos tortoises at London’s zoo remained emotionless as famous French pianist Richard Clayderman performed romantic melodies on Thursday.

The zoo recruited the pianist’s skills to try to encourage the endangered animals to mate in time for Valentine’s Day.

A grand piano was transported to the zoo especially for the occasion, which was also the first time Clayderman had ever visited the zoo. He performed excerpts from amorous works including Bernstein’s West Side Story, Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet and his own new release, Romantique.

In fact, the stunt was good publicity for the album release. Clayderman said: “After playing all around the world — I used to do concerts in Asia, in South America, in Europe — it's funny to be here, in this very nice zoo”.

No matter the reason, the tortoises remained unfazed. They only seemed to cheer up when the zookeepers brought them a snack of carrots.

Galapagos tortoises are the largest in the world and can live for 150 years. The unhurried animals struggle to fend off predators and are now endangered.

Clayderman said his golden retriever loves to lie by the piano when he plays, “so maybe it’s good for the animals to listen to music”.

But then again, maybe not. 


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