There has been no shortage of stories about animals jumping through flaming hoops, rolling over, fetching cowhide balls and even learning to run an obstacle course at a dog show. Some are even passed off as pandas. But have you ever seen an elephant that picks up trash and upstages humans from an environmentally-friendly perspective?
A video uploaded in September surfaced recently, perhaps as part of one of the most memorable moments of 2014, or as part of a message to promote a cleaner planet. According to a report by Metro, an adult elephant called Nelly is seen on closed-circuit television (CCTV) picking up trash at Thornhill Safari Lodge, in South Africa. Apparently, this was not due to training. Instead, sources say the hulking land animal learned how to interact with its changing environment.
The video shows the elephant foraging in a tree near a building before it meanders over to a bucket on the ground underneath the structure’s eave. Initially, it looked as if it were preparing to take a drink. Instead, it notices two pieces of discarded trash, and that’s when the magic happened: the good samaritan uses its trunk to pick up the pieces and place them into the garbage can. It even shows off its intelligence by using its feet as leverage to hoist the scraps into the waste bin.
Not surprisingly, Redditors went off in rapid-fire fashion and unleashed a wave of comments about the video. Some marveled at the thought a pachyderm was tuned into its environment and did something about it by putting trash in its place. Others were not so convinced about the footage, and some even challenged the authenticity. Of those in the naysayers camp, some believe the video was doctored and edited to appear as if an elephant was actually picking up refuse with its trunk.
It’s unknown if the video was made from computer-generated imagery (CGI), but a number of readers think the larger message is that humans have no excuse for not keeping the Earth a clean place to call home — especially if an elephant is doing its share and picking up trash. Check out the video above and share your thoughts below on the elephant with the green thumb and footprint — a rather large one, mind you.
[Image via: RelivEarth]