Elephant Plays Cricket Holding Bat With Trunk in Incredible Video

A video of an elephant playing cricket with a group of men in an Indian village has divided opinion online.

The footage, which was shared to Twitter on May 8, shows a large elephant holding a cricket bat in its trunk and repeatedly hitting a tennis ball.

The animal has impressive skills, barely missing any of the bowled balls, and the surrounding men act as fielders to its hits.

The video was posted to the social media site by user @Gannuuprem, along with the caption: "Have you seen an elephant playing cricket? Well he is better than many international players."

The 30-second clip has since gone viral, having been viewed over 685,100 times, and attracted over 22,200 likes.

Many then flooded the comments section to share their views on the video.

Some felt that instead of being a lighthearted scene, the footage actually showed that the animal had been forced to learn the sport against its will.

One Twitter user, @LuxMeaMundiAM, wrote: "People don't realise how animals come to be in this situation [sic].

"Being trapped and forced, usually with punishment until they follow instructions, to do these ridiculous stunts so people can profit from them."

Another person, @emilyluvsboston, typed: "And how much abuse was needed to "train" him to do this."

Have you seen an elephant playing cricket? Well he is better than many international players.

— Gannuprem (@Gannuuprem) May 8, 2021

A third, @BSB4BC, pointed out: "Elephants don't naturally do stunts. This is sad, it's not entertaining."

However this prompted a response from social media user @Chhana37827943, who replied: "Looks like the elephant know what he/shes doing and enjoy it. I hope those people take care lovingly."

A second person, @pbshankar, also retorted: "Elephants are highly intelligent animals. I am not surprised it was a skill the pachyderm picked up on its own. Everything doesn't have to be cruelty."

Whereas, @JaysreeSen, who is from India, explained: "Neither does horses or dogs. What will you do with a calf which is abandoned? Put it in a cage?

"We tame it and keep it as a pet. Majority of the elephants are born to domesticated cow elephants. We don't go hunting for wild elephants!"

Twitter user @rahuldotmaddy commented on the video, writing: "Actually elephants in India are very well kept. They form close bonds with the humans caring for them. They're definitely better off than in the wild.

"Think of this like how you would think of a dog or a cat playing ball."

Meanwhile others simply marveled at the animal's sporting ability, with @pkamenecka saying: "I could watch this all day...wish it were a live channel."

elephant standing in nature
A stock image of an elephant. In the viral video, an elephant can be seen playing cricket with a group of men. Getty Images