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Thursday, April 03, 2008

Amazing Elephant Art!

This is not my usual fare, but it's so astounding I had to share.

If you haven't seen this already, watch the whole thing - it is well worth the time, as you may never have imagined that any non-human animal could be so adroit, graceful and artistic.

Absolutely beautiful image - I'd be pleased to call it my own! (If you are having trouble seeing the videos, trying reloading or using a different browser.)

This particular elephant is a male born in 2002 named "Paya," which means "excellence." He's only been painting for a couple of years.

There is much to learn from this incredible display of intelligence, dexterity and artistic sense by this marvelous elephant and all the others as well.

Here's another beauty:

Now, this is what I'd rather be focused on - appreciating the beauty and wonder of nature!

For more amazing elephant art, see this site:

Asian Elephant Art & Conservation Project

(And, yes, they are trained, of course - but still!)


Mriana said...

As the ultimate animal lover, let me be the first to post on this. THIS IS AWESOME! :D

This just goes to show lower animals are not dumb and they looked like they were having fun painting too. It's a shame more people don't treat them with respect.

Thanks for sharing this Acharya. :)

Anonymous said...

I too was amazed, Acharya.
And sent it to many of my friends...

But now I found out that the TRUTH is...
these elephants are TORTURED into entertaining the tourists.
Sad, but true.


Acharya S said...

Thanks for the heads up. Such abuse is, of course, hideous.

We would need to find out, however, if these particular elephants in these particular zoos are being likewise tortured. They look perfectly healthy from here.

Rio Veradonir said...

I've seen elephants paint in person in the U.S. It's wonderful. Their trainers here used positive reinforcement methods, only, because they work at a U.S. zoo where torture of animals is illegal. So, there is no need to torture elephants to teach them to paint.

Hopefully, zoos in Thailand have similar standards, but I don't know. I suspect, since the article describes the perpetrators as "villagers," that it's talking about a working elephant, "owned" by villagers, not a zoo.

In any case, if they are torturing the creatures, it's a pointless activity. Elephants in the wild have been known to doodle with sticks (although, not to the same level of sophistication as these trained elephants, at least by human standards).