Suda, the painting elephant

By now, if you follow my blog, you know that I am obsessed with elephants.  This was posted on Facebook today by a dear friend of mine, and I just wanted to make sure I didn't lose it.  It reminds me that we are not alone out there, that we are connected and that the world is an amazing, vast, mystical place....

This is Suda, a 4-year-old elephant from Thailand. Elephants are one of the few species on this planet that are sentient (can perceive feeling; feel emotions), self-aware (conscious of themselves as individuals, i.e. they recognise themselves in a mirror, rather than thinking their reflection is another elephant), and significantly intelligent. These are the three main traits we as humans posses, and they lead us to believe that we are separate from animals; better; more advanced. In reality, we are really not that different from them. It's such a shame that these beautiful animals are subjected to such cruelty and suffering at the hands of trophy hunters and circus masters, when they are so similar to us.