The team at Just For Laughs Gags, a comedy troupe based out of Quebec, pull a wildly elaborate prank in the video below. Two pretend police officers pull people over as they’re driving, and then an elephant painted pink with yellow polka dots crosses the street behind the fake officer’s back. Peoples’ reactions are absolutely priceless, and you can tell that a few of these prank subjects truly think they’re going crazy.
According to IMDB, Just For Laughs Gags produces very short segments that do not contain any dialogue. They focus on using the city of Quebec and its inhabitants as subjects of the pranks and of the show, and it can be considered a more modern version of the show “Candid Camera.” The show ran only from 2001-2002.
While the prank itself is amusing, it poses a serious problem regarding the use of animals for entertainment purposes. While it would be impossible to definitively determine whether the elephant was bothered by being painted, it is easy to assume that this gentle giant wasn’t all too pleased to be covered in a layer of dry, cracking paint on already dry skin. Elephants have the largest brain of any land mammal, so they are extremely intelligent creatures. This leads us to wonder if these smart creatures feel like they are being demeaned when forced into the realm of entertainment. PETA points out that elephants that are kept in captivity for entertainment purposes have no ability to do “anything that’s natural or important to them.” They cannot graze freely, wander in wide open spaces, or interact and bond with other elephants. Most elephants are torn away from their families when they’re babies, and as they are social and bonded creatures, one can assume that this has a similar emotional effect on the elephant as it would on a human child being taken away from his or her family.
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