Elephants in Thailand are abused to make paintings
I was looking through Youtube and saw one of those painting elephant videos. Pretty amazing right? The ability to depict an abstract yet recognizable form is something only humans have been able to do. Seeing this for the first time makes people think wow! elephants are so smart and creative, they’re just like people etc etc. It’s feel-good fun for the whole family, there’s no way this can be malicious, it’s not like people abuse animals for their own entertainment or anything….
But, people do abuse animals for profit and it’s no different here. The people who run these shows can sell the paintings for hundreds of dollars each. This kind of shit goes on all the time in developing countries. Scamming rich fucks out of their money is fine and Good but absolutely not at the cost of the abuse of these extremely intelligent incredible animals.
The elephants don’t know what they’re painting. They’re broken, abused, and directed by their trainers during their performance to move the brush in a memorized pattern. In the video I linked you can see the trainer hiding themselves behind the elephants legs. When they’re not giving them a fresh brush, the trainer pulls on Suda’s ear to indicate what kinds of strokes they should use. Making an elephant obedient like this is a horrific process.
I just wanted to inform people of this because I couldn’t really find any easily find-able information like this in the related videos column to these. There are quite a few articles about this easily accessible from a google search but if someone just browsing through youtube might not think to find it.
Patara Elephant Farm, Chiang Mai, Thailand! I visited the Patara elephant farm on, 3rd of February 2015! I honestly can not even explain how much I recommend visiting this place it was so amazing!
The camp is set up for elephants who have been mistreated in zoos and for logging, also the ones used in shows where they are not given enough space to be free and get the exercise they need everyday to be healthy! Also using them to perform tricks and other meaningless cruel activities. This makes them mentally sick and usually when they are in these circumstance for too long they eventually lash out and start attacking each other or the trainers.
The camp tries to get the elephants back to a stable state of mind and breeding! If they elephants become stable enough they release them back into the wild if not they just keep them on the farm which is huge! They have space to freely roam and do whatever they want, giving them enough space to interact with other elephants and get the exercise and correct amount of food they need daily!
We did the Elephant Career for a day! Which included us making sure our elephant was healthy and emotionally well to do the adventure! Obviously we had someone show us how to tell and what to look for!
We got paired with an elephant that best suited our personalities, I was paired with Nim he was a little wild and impatient haha!
Once we had done the inspection and made sure they were alright! We fed our elephant a mixture of bananas and sugar cane! Then we cleaned the dirt off our elephants back ready to ride!
We rode the elephant about 1 hour up the mountain in the jungle of Chiang Mai! Once we reached the top we had an amazing traditional Thai lunch! The food was amazing! Then we rode down the other side of the mountain to a waterfall where we swam with the elephant and also washed and scrubbed them!
All round I had the most amazing day and could not recommend it more! This is something you have to do at least once in your life time! I will be returning thats for sure!