Trumpet voluntary: Elephants 'excited' by banana-toting Queen Elizabeth

LONDON, April 11 (Reuters) - Britain's Queen Elizabeth and her husband Prince Philip fed an elephant bananas on Tuesday to the apparent delight of the herd.

Elizabeth, who is patron of the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), and Philip met Donna, one of a nine-strong Asian elephant herd at the Centre for Elephant Care at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, outside London.

The pachyderms were said to be thrilled.

"The elephants, when they saw Her Majesty, were excited and we know that, actually, because we track their communications in the barn and we could see that they were excited with what was going on," ZSL zoological director David Field said.

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Queen Elizabeth feeds bananas to elephants
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Queen Elizabeth feeds bananas to elephants
Britain's Queen Elizabeth watches as Prince Philip feeds an elephant during a visit to Whipsnade Zoo where the Queen opened the new Centre for Elephant Care, in Dunstable, Britain April 11, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Britain's Queen Elizabeth, watched by Prince Philip, feeds an elephant during a visit to Whipsnade Zoo where she opened the new Centre for Elephant Care, in Dunstable, Britain April 11, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
DUNSTABLE, ENGLAND - APRIL 11: Queen Elizabeth II arrives to open the new Centre for Elephant Care at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo on April 11, 2017 in Dunstable, United Kingdom. (Photo by David Rose - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
DUNSTABLE, ENGLAND - APRIL 11: Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh feed Donna the elephant a banana as they visit the ZSL Whipsnade Zoo at the Elephant Centre on April 11, 2017 in Dunstable, United Kingdom. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
DUNSTABLE, ENGLAND - APRIL 11: Elephants walk around in front of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh during a visit to the ZSL Whipsnade Zoo at the Elephant Centre on April 11, 2017 in Dunstable, United Kingdom. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
ZSL WHIPSNADE, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 11:Picture shows the Queen and Prince Philip by the plaqueon April 11, 2017 in ZSL Whipsnade, England. The Queen formally opened a new elephant centre at Whipsnade Zooon April 11, 2017. She was joined by the Duke of Edinburgh and formally unveil a special plaque. The �2m centre will house the zoo's herd of nine Asian elephants. Her Majesty and His Royal Highness met zookeepers and vets, before visiting the amphitheatre for the official opening. The custom-designed barn, which has one-metre deep soft sand flooring, is set among 20 acres of paddocks for the herd and has cost around �2million to construct. The Queen, who is patron of the ZSL, arrived in her Bentley State limousine before watching the elephant team carry out daily care tasks such as nail filing and mouth care this morning. PHOTOGRAPH BY Tony Margiocchi / Barcroft Images London-T:+44 207 033 1031 E:hello@barcroftmedia.com - New York-T:+1 212 796 2458 E:hello@barcroftusa.com - New Delhi-T:+91 11 4053 2429 E:hello@barcroftindia.com www.barcroftimages.com (Photo credit should read Tony Margiocchi/Barcroft Images / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
DUNSTABLE, ENGLAND - APRIL 11: Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh visit the ZSL Whipsnade Zoo at the Elephant Centre on April 11, 2017 in Dunstable, United Kingdom. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
ZSL WHIPSNADE, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 11: Keepers examining the feet of an elephant on April 11, 2017 in ZSL Whipsnade, England. The Queen formally opened a new elephant centre at Whipsnade Zooon April 11, 2017. She was joined by the Duke of Edinburgh and formally unveil a special plaque. The �2m centre will house the zoo's herd of nine Asian elephants. Her Majesty and His Royal Highness met zookeepers and vets, before visiting the amphitheatre for the official opening. The custom-designed barn, which has one-metre deep soft sand flooring, is set among 20 acres of paddocks for the herd and has cost around �2million to construct. The Queen, who is patron of the ZSL, arrived in her Bentley State limousine before watching the elephant team carry out daily care tasks such as nail filing and mouth care this morning. PHOTOGRAPH BY Tony Margiocchi / Barcroft Images London-T:+44 207 033 1031 E:hello@barcroftmedia.com - New York-T:+1 212 796 2458 E:hello@barcroftusa.com - New Delhi-T:+91 11 4053 2429 E:hello@barcroftindia.com www.barcroftimages.com (Photo credit should read Tony Margiocchi/Barcroft Images / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
WHIPSNADE, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 11: Queen feeds Donna the elephant a banana on April 11, 2017 in ZSL Whipsnade, England. The Queen formally opened a new elephant centre at Whipsnade Zooon April 11, 2017. She was joined by the Duke of Edinburgh and formally unveil a special plaque. The �2m centre will house the zoo's herd of nine Asian elephants. Her Majesty and His Royal Highness met zookeepers and vets, before visiting the amphitheatre for the official opening. The custom-designed barn, which has one-metre deep soft sand flooring, is set among 20 acres of paddocks for the herd and has cost around �2million to construct. The Queen, who is patron of the ZSL, arrived in her Bentley State limousine before watching the elephant team carry out daily care tasks such as nail filing and mouth care this morning. PHOTOGRAPH BY Tony Margiocchi / Barcroft Images London-T:+44 207 033 1031 E:hello@barcroftmedia.com - New York-T:+1 212 796 2458 E:hello@barcroftusa.com - New Delhi-T:+91 11 4053 2429 E:hello@barcroftindia.com www.barcroftimages.com (Photo credit should read Tony Margiocchi/Barcroft Images / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
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One of the center's elephants is also called Elizabeth, born a day before the queen's 90th birthday last year.

"Little Elizabeth didn't quite meet the queen. She's still a little young and unpredictable," Field said.

The monarch unveiled a plaque for the opening.

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