WATCH: Thai Elephant Amazes Audience by Painting a Self-Portrait


Elephants are capable of a lot, but we had no idea they could paint too.

In Thailand, thousands of Thai elephants were employed in the timber industry hauling logs out of rainforests.  But those elephants became homeless after deforestation and anti-logging laws prohibited this practice. Since then, elephants have been trained by their mahouts (trainers) to paint to ensure their survival.

In the YouTube video above, an elephant paints a self-portrait of herself for an audience. The process is mesmerizing and the audience can be heard in the background expressing their amazement. The elephant’s mahout gives her physical and verbal encouragement, ensuring every stroke is carefully placed. All of their training is based on rewards in the form of sugar cane and banana treats.

Although animal activists would prefer elephants be freed, the wild is often the most dangerous place in many parts of the world. Elephant reservations are a much safer place for elephants to live and thrive. supports, “Starving Elephant Artisans” by selling their masterpieces to support these reservations and keep them running.