Elephants Trained to Play Basketball

Elephants at the Island Safari Centre on Koh Samui, Thailand have been trained to play basketball:

“It takes two or three months of intensive training to teach them basics, but fortunately their standards are improving with each passing day”, said organiser Ning.

The keepers begin by teaching the elephants basic ball control skills, and how to hold the ball in their trunk. The animals are then taught to stand on their hind legs, walk with the ball and finally shoot it through the hoop.

Link | Photo: Barcroft Media

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Training elephants for stunts like these is very brutal. It is accomplished by inducing pain and fear and there is always a high mortality rate for the 'trainees'. If you love elephants, consider supporting one of the few groups in Thailand devoted to protecting these magnificent creatures: http://www.elephantnaturepark.org/
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this is sick...couldn't the elephant been beautiful enough without being personified? and what's the motivation for the elephant to dunk the balls----escape from being punished afterwards? sick.
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I fully understand that some animals enjoy doing tricks, and that animals trained to perform tricks like this bring in tourist $$$ which can be redirected back to helping the animals, but I still find the spectacle to be unutterably sad.
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a lion can also play basketball with your head, and you don't have to take it from its natural environment in order to satiate your need for entertainment.
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