It seems you've stumbled upon this messy cocktail of Rizzles fangirling, cat videos, owl facts and fanart. My commiserations.
ok training with punishments is different than torture, yo
ELEPHANTS WERE NOT MADE TO PAINT. IT IS NOT IN THEIR FUCKING NATURE. SO FORCING THEM TO DO SOMETHING THEY WERE NOT MADE TO DO BY VIOLENTLY PUNISHING THEM IS TORTURING THEM YOU SICK FUCK
Your first sentence is correct.
Elephants are not designed to paint. The phenomenon started in the late 1980’s with Ruby the Elephant. The zookeepers at Phoenix Zoo, AZ, saw her spending a lot of time scratching the dirt of her enclosure with sticks, so they gave her brushes and paint to stimulate her. Stimulation prevents elephants from getting bored, which can lead to social tension, aggression, and abnormal behavior (i.e. “weaving”). In 1997, the first Elephant Art Academy was started, called the Asian Elephant Art and Conservation Project, with the idea being that keepers could teach elephants to paint, and use the money from sales to fund awareness and protection of the Asian elephant. Zookeepers teach the elephants to paint by giving them a paintbrush, and guiding their brush over the canvas. They reward them with positive reinforcement (like treats) and because elephants are incredibly clever animals, they often pick up the trick quickly (I say trick because it is debated as to whether they understand what they paint or not). Not every elephant picks this up though, and perhaps only 10% continue with it.
However, like all popular things, there are people that will exploit it for a quick buck. I assume you’ve read articles such as this, this, and/or this (TRIGGER WARNING: Graphic pictures guys). So does that mean that every elephant in Thailand was abused in order to entertain tourists? Short answer: Of course not. Long answer: Unfortunately illegal elephant trading, originally for ivory, now for tourism, has lead to wild elephants being taken from the forests and exploited for profit by groups with absolutely no care for the poor elephants they’ve captured. These are usually where the pictures of elephants being kept in atrocious conditions come from.The catch is, Thailand relies heavily on tourist dollars for it’s economy to grow, and with widespread, ingrained corruption, it is immensely difficult to control where elephants are taken or end up. It is also why the Thai government discourages any negative publicity about their tourism industry.
Conservation sites still need tourists to invest their money in order to keep their sanctuaries operational, so completely writing off elephant paintings doesn’t help them. Researching which sites are reputable does. Supporting those charities by buying their paintings also helps. Also, in regards to punishment vs torture (which is another argument altogether), the USA used negative reinforcement to train elephants up until the mid 1970’s, while the torture of elephants usually involves harming animals for specific gain, like tusks or skin. This is what I was referring to.
Anyway, I hope that clarifies things a little bit.
Trying to lock two people in a supply closet is not as easy as it looks. The goal was to try to get Detective Rizzoli and Doctor Isles locked in a tiny room together for their lunch break so they would be forced to talk/be in close proximity to one another. We were hoping it would spark something, but we couldn’t think of a good enough explanation to get both of them in a supply room together.
Funny isn’t it? We couldn’t get Detective Rizzoli IN the closet.