My cousin went to an elephant sanctuary last summer. He started dancing, and this lil girl joined him.

My cousin went to an elephant sanctuary last summer. He started dancing, and this lil girl joined...

That's cute and all but ... "Head bobbing, swaying, and weaving are 3 huge tells of distress in an elephant."

When I was in Bali at one of the elephant sanctuaries, I noticed an elephant dancing on its own similar to this. So I remarked how cute it was. The worker there told me that the reason it was dancing was because it was depressed. Kind of a bummer, I felt bad.

I am not sure if this phenomenon is true or not, so please correct me if I am wrong.

Yeah, I would guess the elephant was 'dancing' before he started.

Please upvote this so everyone can see

My cousin went to Chiang Mai Elephant Jungle Sanctuary, and spent the day in the watering hole giving her a mud bath, feeding her, and playing with her. Her sanctuary is an extremely humane one that cares wholly for the conditions of all of their elephants. He purposefully chose an anti-ride sanctuary because that’s where the cruelty and stress occurs for most elephants in Thailand.

Here is an excerpt from their about page on their website: “ ABOUT US Elephant Jungle Sanctuary is an ethical and sustainable eco-tourism project located approximately 60km from the city of Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand. Founded in July 2014, it is a joint initiative between members of the Karen hill-tribes and Chiang Mai locals who were concerned about the welfare of elephants in Thailand.

Currently comprised of 9 spacious locations Elephant Jungle Sanctuary is home to over thirty formerly mistreated elephants, who are now free to enjoy their lives.

OUR MISSION is to provide as many elephants as possible with the good health, freedom, and happiness they truly deserve. We use our progressive and ethically responsible approach to elephant eco-tourism as a platform to raise awareness and educate people from Thailand and around the world about elephant care and the plight of the Asian elephant.”

The elephant is "weaving" which is neurotic behavior due to boredom and hunger. Is common in horses who are stalled their entire lives. No animal that is meant to roam for miles and miles each day can handle being in a small confined area 24/7.

I cannot watch this guy dance without thinking he looks like an idiot.

Your cousin dances weird

Just because a place doesn't offer rides, doesn't mean that the elephants still aren't mistreated. There are only a handful of legit sanctuaries. The majority of other "sanctuaries" only advertise themselves as being ethical in order to cash in on eco-tourism, when behind the scenes the elephants are still mistreated.

The fact that this elephant is "dancing" like this is a pretty good sign that its not happy and content, but rather pretty stressed out.

It's accurate.

Elephant Nature Park is a much better option. They encourage that you do not get near the elephants, the elephants don’t have to pose for any photos with you and you definitely don’t get near the babies like that. It’s all about rehabilitation, respect and observance.

yeah I watched a documentary on how they "Break" elephants for tourists to ride on. Was so heart wrenching watching them drive stakes into the young ones heads. Ugh! Hopefully not all do this.

free to enjoy their lives. . .

In a 30'x30' enclosure, clearly distressed.

About twenty years ago a small circus came to town, and they had a young elephant just like this, and he was chained around one foot. He was behind a trailer and not performing at the time, and he was swaying just like this. I could tell he wasn’t right because he didn’t stop. Sad.

I, too, dance when I'm depressed. Right now, I'm putting Napoleon Dynamite to shame!

Whatever this dance is called it looks ridiculous and complete dumb.

Same here, as was outside Chiang mai, Thailand. I was told by multiple members of the sanctuary staff the dancing is a compulsion started by physical abuse at an early age. Basically being beaten or stabbed until you dance every waking second to eventually entertain a crowd. Looks like this guy may have not known or not cared. Either way there were some very sad parts about what these elephants had endured before sanctuaries.

came here for this, learned that that elephant is most likely in distress, not dancing

Found this video adorable.... read the comments and now I’m horrified. Thanks Reddit.

That elephant has gaydar

In horses, it is called "weaving." My sister's super neurotic horse used to do the same thing for hours on end. I knew of quite a few that did this and would actually rub the hair off of their chests to the point of bleeding. I'm not sure if it's from boredom, depression, or some sort of an OCD compulsion, but it's near impossible to make them stop.

Elephants are so intelligent, not to mention cute as hell. I love inter species bonds :D

That’s for very long extended periods of time. Didn’t seem like the same thing at all observed in the gif.

Does this dance have a name?

He says he was yiking with her

Apparently that's a real thing. Thank you YouTube