Thailand is the hub for Elephant tourism where more than 70000 elephants are held in captivity and have the responsibility to entertain tourists by performing multiple tricks. Elephants are considered smart and intelligent, hence, they are able to adhere to a routine and learn to paint, perform tricks, give massages, rides and learn other skills to put on a show for the tourists flocking from all over the world to Thailand. Repeatedly, we come across stories of elephants painting or doing other tricks and another such video has gained the spotlight on the internet now.
On July 7, NowThis, a New York-based news organization, shared a video of a 9-year-old elephant named Nong Thanwa painting in the Maetong Elephant Camp, in Chiang Mai, Thailand. As per the report, a painting by the animal was sold for $5.5k + (approx. Rs 410, 624) in an online fundraiser for the elephant camp. The sold painting shows a landscape with a silhouette of herself and her friend Dumbo and features the text ‘TW loves Dumbo’. Using her trunk to hold the paintbrush, Nong Thanwa was being directed by her trainer for strokes. Watch the clip here:
A painting by an elephant in Thailand sold for $5.5k+ in an online fundraiser for the Maetang Elephant Camp.
The painting shows a silhouette of 9-year-old elephant Nong Thanwa and her friend Dumbo. Nong painted it herself using her trunk 🐘🎨 pic.twitter.com/C9QF9WR85F
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) July 7, 2021
The clip garnered more than 34,000 views and tons of comments from unimpressed netizens who were quick to point out the abusive routine behind these skills. Many slammed the media house for reporting about the painting and not the plight of the animal despite a bull metal hook being visible in the clip. A user asked if they were not aware of the horrific abuse that’s behind these paintings.
Are you seriously not aware of the horrific abuse that’s behind these “paintings”? You can even see the bull hook in the video.https://t.co/ui4BM5s9JQ
— Papu (@ur_friend_papu) July 7, 2021
A second user asked the media house to scrutinize their content properly as it was visible that the animal was being abused. The video was not well-received by outraged social media users who filled the comment section with backlash.
Dude is using pain to make the elephant perform. You can see it in the video. Please train your producers and editors to better scrutinize content.
— Brigette Supernova (@Brig_Supernova) July 7, 2021
Delete this tweet unless it’s to highlight animal cruelty and abuse.
— Unironically Ellie (@NYCEllieD) July 7, 2021
According to PETA, elephant painting involves a training method that includes weapons, and elephants are beaten, shocked, and punished to make them learn tricks. As a result of enduring stress and trauma, most of the elephants die short of their natural life expectancy.