You have to watch this video, it's incredible:
Elephant Paints Self Portrait - AOL Video: ""
I suppose this elephant could have been trained to do this without understanding it, but it doesn't look like it, does it?
Also read this article from the New York Times Magazine. Amazing and sad.
Did you know that elephants bury their dead? The only other lifeform to do so. They also bury human remains when they come across them. What does this mean? It means elephants are sentient beings. Doesn't it? I was always taught in my history and anthropology classes that the first glimmerings of true sevtience in humans were evidenced by the habit of Neaderthals burying their dead, which meant care for the dead one beyond life, understadning of a consciousness and a possibility of an afterlife. It has to be the same for other lifeforms too, then, right?
What can we do to save these elephants before they are all gone?