Thailand is the center of elephant tourism where more than 70,000 elephants are kept captive and have the responsibility to entertain tourists through various tricks. Elephants are considered smart and intelligent, so they can follow a routine and learn to paint, perform tricks, give massages, ride horses and learn other skills to put on a show for the tourists coming to Thailand from all over the world stream. Time and again we come across stories of elephants painting or doing other tricks, and another such video has now come into the spotlight on the internet.
On July 7, NowThis, a New York-based news organization, released a video of a 9-year-old elephant named Nong Thanwa painted at Maetong Elephant Camp in Chiang Mai, Thailand. According to the report, a painting of the animal was sold in an online fundraiser for the elephant camp for $ 5.5k + (approximately Rs 410,624). The painting sold shows a landscape with a silhouette of her and her friend Dumbo and bears the text ‘TW loves Dumbo’. Nong Thanwa used her suitcase to hold the brush and was instructed to make strokes by her trainer. Watch the clip here:
A painting of an elephant in Thailand sold for over $ 5.5,000 in an online fundraiser for Maetang Elephant Camp. The painting shows a silhouette of the 9-year-old elephant Nong Thanwa and her friend Dumbo. Nong painted it herself with her suitcase. pic.twitter.com/C9QF9WR85F
– NowThis (@nowthisnews) July 7, 2021
The clip received more than 34,000 views and tons of comments from unimpressed internet users who were quick to point out the abusive routine behind these skills. Many criticized the media company for reporting on the painting and not on the plight of the animal, although a bull metal hook could be seen in the clip. One user asked if they were not aware of the terrible abuse that lies behind these paintings.
Are you seriously unaware of the terrible abuse that lies behind these “paintings”? You can even see the bull hook in the video. https://t.co/ui4BM5s9JQâ Papu (@ur_friend_papu) July 7, 2021
A second user asked the media company to check its content carefully, as it was evident that the animal had been abused. The video was not well received by outraged social media users who filled the comments section with backlash.
Dude uses pain to get the elephant to perform. You can see it in the video. Please train your producers and editors to better review content.â Brigette Supernova (@Brig_Supernova) July 7, 2021
Delete this tweet unless you want it to highlight animal cruelty and abuse.â Unironically Ellie (@NYCEllieD) July 7, 2021
According to PETA, elephant painting involves a training method that involves weapons, and elephants are beaten, shocked, and punished for learning tricks. As a result of prolonged stress and trauma, most elephants die below their natural life expectancy.
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