I love elephants. Some only see this giant, wrinkly animal that they find to be very unattractive.
I see much more when I look at them. They are very smart, and very emotional beings. In the wild, when one of their own dies, they will go back and visit the bones of their dearly departed, even caressing the bones, lovingly. Elephants that have been kept in chains their entire life will cry real tears when they have been freed. They are kind hearted souls.
Some may protest, bringing up instances of captive elephants "losing it" during forced performances or when they have children on their backs during elephant rides when they are forced to accommodate the public.
The key words here are "captive" and "forced."
We can't blame wild animals for acting like wild animals, simply because it doesn't suit us. It should be of no surprise they eventually get to a breaking point.
I read somewhere recently one of the main circus organizations were removing elephants from their performances. I have not researched this information, but I hope that it is true!