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The Infamous Painted Mastodon

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posted on Mar, 23 2011 @ 11:42 AM

Originally posted by MathiasAndrew
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.

It all depends on how the child is taught to play the piano (and what your definition of "playing the piano" is).

This would be like teaching a child the order in which to hit the piano keys to play one or more particular songs. A child taught this way cannot really "play the piano" (in the real sense of the word), but rather mimic the way a piano is played.

It's not like teaching a child how to read music, play any song as long as they have the sheet music, and create their own music.

I'm sure all elephants can move a paint-filled brush over a canvas, making marks on that canvas. However, these particular elephants in the OP are only mimicking brush strokes that have been taught to them by humans.

edit on 3/23/2011 by Box of Rain because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 24 2011 @ 04:54 AM

I looked on National Geographic. The claims of abuse apply to methods used for training elephants to do certain behaviors like lhauling logs for the logging industry which no longer exists. Most of those techniques I believe are things of the past. I have seen other videos from documentaries on television that show young elephants learning too paint. They are given the freedom to just experiment and learn on their own. They are given the brushes with paint on them and allowed to freely create whatever they desire. They usually create colorful abstract art. The only human interference is when the human helper gives them a new color to paint with.

If you look more deeply into the Asian and Thai cultures as well as the Indian culture feelings about Elephants, you will find that they are held in high regard. In the Thai culture Elephants are esteemed members of their society. They are adorned with elaborate costumes, decorations and even worshiped in some cases. They hold religious ceremonies involving Elephants and also they hold celebrations where the Elephants are treated like royalty and parade through the streets while the towns people toss flowers at their feet.

In the Indian culture there is a God named Ganesh who is in the image of an Elephants.

Although he is known by many other attributes, Ganesha's elephant head makes him easy to identify.Ganesha is widely revered as the Remover of Obstacles and more generally as Lord of Beginnings and Lord of Obstacles (Vighnesha (Sanskrit: विघ्नेश; IAST: Vighneśa), Vighneshvara patron of arts and sciences, and the deva of intellect and wisdom. He is honoured at the beginning of rituals and ceremonies and invoked as Patron of Letters during writing sessions] Several texts relate mythological anecdotes associated with his birth and exploits and explain his distinct iconography.

Elephants are social creatures. They enjoy interaction with humans when treated well and they need a family type bond for them to thrive. The mistreated and abused elephants always show neurotic and sometimes violent tendencies. Sadly we probably have all seen examples of elephants in zoos and circus's who have shown some of the tell tale signs of abuse. There is no denying that it does indeed happen. These specific painting elephants are in a elephant conservation program. They are in an open setting with lots of human contact and interactions.

The tourist industry involving elephants would be taking a huge risk to allow abused elephants to be allowed so close to the audience. I do not believe that these particular group of elephants we are watching in these videos have suffered the same types of abuse as described in the articles. It seems much more likely to me that these elephants are treated kind and allowed to develop these skills rather than forced. Not all the elephants paint with the skill that this one particular elephant does. In fact this one elephant is unique when it comes to its painting ability.

Looking for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure in the mountainous Golden Triangle region of northern Thailand, where Thailand, Myanmar, and Laos converge? Love elephants? Want to help rescued Asian elephants and protect Thailand's wild herds?

If your head's bobbing and you're intrigued, check out the work of the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation. The foundation rescues abused, abandoned, and overworked elephants, many of whom once toiled in the logging industry, and has created camps for them in two impressive resorts in the Chiang Rai region of northern Thailand.

The elephants earn their keep at the Anantara Resort's Elephant Conservation Camp and at the Four Seasons Tented Camp by interacting with guests and carrying them on treks in Thai hill country, through dense patches of bamboo and across riverine flood plains. Each resort also employs the elephants' mahouts (drivers). They teach guests some of the 70 verbal commands the mahouts use to communicate with these gregarious beasts.

To learn more about this exciting program we caught up with John Roberts, Director of Elephants at the Anantara Golden Triangle Resort's Elephant Conservation Camp.

edit on 24-3-2011 by MathiasAndrew because: add video

posted on Mar, 27 2011 @ 08:36 PM
reply to post by MathiasAndrew
I really enjoyed these videos.....absolutely amazing! Learned some really interesting, and some sad facts about elephants. Overall my sense is that the elephants shown in these videos were not mistreated and I can swear I saw the elephant smile! Sure made me smile, and there seems to be a sincere affection between the elephants and their trainers. Makes me think of teaching my dog to play frizbee, lol, some might say the first few times I threw it to him and it hit him in the nose (softly threw) that I was being cruel....turns out that dog couldn't get enough frizbee once he learned....if I got tired of playing at the park and took a break he would go find anyone that was willing play, sometimes joining games he wasn't actually welcome! Yes maybe all elephants can smear a brush around, but I tend to think the few that become actual artists do so because they love it! Fun Post Mathias...TY for sharing......

edit on 27-3-2011 by MountainLaurel because: spelling

posted on Apr, 5 2011 @ 09:24 PM
The original video was removed

Here's the new link to it.

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