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Originally posted by loam
reply to post by MathiasAndrew
I shudder to think what this poor animal endured to acquire this skill.
Originally posted by MathiasAndrew
reply to post by loam
I actually have heard that the Elephants enjoy painting. They are also treated much better by the trainers in those villages than they are in any zoo.
All artists learn from teachers and practice, practice, practice. I do understand that it is possible to train them to paint. But not much different from teaching a child how to play the piano.
Stop Elephant's Painting - it uses inhumane methods
Most abuse is done in secret and behind closed doors.
But there is a growing phenomenon in Thailand and other parts of the world where elephants are trained to paint using deliberate abuse and torture. Many people include celebrated international art galleries see this as a beautiful thing and even an aid to conservation. That it is not!!
Except for a few notable organizations in India and Thailand all elephants used in the tourist industry are trained using a system which involves negative reinforcement by tying the baby elephant down so its legs are fully strength then literally beating it until is spirit is broken or leaving it in a locked cage without food or water.
In Thailand this training method is called Phaa-Jan which literally means breaking the spirit. See National Geographic site for more details: news.nationalgeographic.com...
Teaching it to paint is achieved by issuing voice commands whilst stabbing the trunk with a sharp nail. It the poor 3 year old do not take the instructions easily a metal hook is sometimes driven into its bleeding head, literally forcing it to learn.
Why elephants paint
"Painting elephants" has taken off as an attraction in Thailand and has been popularized by the well-meaning efforts of two Russian artists who endeavored to sell elephant paintings to “save them.”
From the artists’ own accounts of their endeavors, it is revealed that indeed many if not most painting elephants in Thailand are young elephants who have been taken from their mothers and “trained” to perform various stunts for tourists with painting being one more stunt.
The artists recalled that many if not most Thai elephant handlers called “Mahouts” are “indifferent” to their elephant charges. Treatment varied from mahouts that shouted at elephants who failed to paint to those that gently encouraged their elephants to paint.
However,in every picture I have seen of “painting elephants,” the mahouts hold at hand a ready bullhook —evidence of a fundamental reliance on abusive training methods.
Elephants were also frequently chained to posts while they painted. In addition, at all of the facilities with painting elephants, the elephants were force to perform circuslike tricks for tourists. Such stunts are traditionally achieved through fear, force, and intimidation.