The Next Step in Elephant Art
This video, however, stands out as something new to me - a clip of an elephant painting what seems to be, well, an elephant (whether it's to be understood as a self-portrait or a portrait of another elephant I can't really say, particularly since the animal likely has no idea what, exactly, it is doing - just producing lines as taught). Having looked into this a few years ago, I can attest that elephants were painting no such images back then; this is something wholly new. While the cheering tourists seem pretty gullible, it's still pretty remarkable to watch, and is already a Youtube favourite. I had no idea that the elephants could be trained to this extent - to produce actual likenesses.
For further research: a Thai website that sells elephant art; and a Snopes urban legend page on elephant art, with various further links. Also take a peek at eBay item 280217166008, an image of some flowers painted by an elephant, and compare it with 280217182162 - from the same seller in Thailand; the paintings are very nearly the same, showing the degree to which the elephant is just doing what it's been taught. One past auction (280215951756) by the same seller, vero389, shows a pair of elephants walking in the field, and fetched over $500 US - the priciest elephant art piece I've yet to see (is it the family theme, invoked by the fact that one elephant is slightly smaller, that accounts for the high price, or the simple fact that the paintings actually look like elephants?).