A baby elephant draws pictures that sell for hundreds of pounds in Thailand. The talented nine-year-old jumbo named Nong Thanwa paints scenes that are believed to depict her and an elephant friend in Maetang Elephant Camp, Chiang Mai province. Nong Thanwa holds an artist brush using her trunk before dabbing paint onto a piece of canvas to draw silhouettes of two elephants. She then adds her initials ‘TW’ and her friend’s name ‘Dumbo’ at the bottom of the picture. Her masterpieces were auctioned online to raise funds to build a new shelter for the elephants in the camp and raised more than 4,000 GBP. Elephant camp officer Thanophoom Asoketrakul said: ‘The fundraiser was done to help give the elephants a more comfortable life in the camp. ‘It’s a good thing we have a talented elephant here who can draw nice pictures. The Covid-19 pandemic affected our operations so we can only rely on help from others to maintain the needs of the animals.’ One of the fundraiser’s beneficiaries Plai Dumbo, who is in one of Nong Thanwa’s drawings, was sickly compared to other animals so he needed constant care from veterinarians. Thanophoom added: ‘Veterinarians from Chiang Mai University always helped us treat Dumbo whenever he’s sick. He will really benefit from a new shelter.’ Animal lovers bid and donated to the fundraiser which targeted collecting 200,000 baht (4,486 GBP) for building the new shelter. When the bidding ended on June 30, they collected enough amount to start the shelter’s construction. Elephants are the national animal of Thailand. An estimated 2,000 elephants are living in the wild and a similar number in captivity. In the wild, they roam through the deep jungle and in the country’s protected national parks but often encounter humans on roads and in villages. However, they are protected by laws and killing them carries a maximum prison term of up to three years and a fine of 1,000 baht (25GBP).
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