We wanted to hear an expert's thoughts on the benefits of this exercise, so we asked journalist Carol Bradley, author of "Last Chain on Billie."
"I would imagine any exercise is a good thing for a captive elephant. Ideally she would have the freedom to walk many miles on the ground, not concrete. But given her captive situation, I'd say these keepers should be commended for encouraging her to perform these movements," Bradley told The Dodo.
"They're using protected contact, which means this elephant is choosing to stay near them," she explained. "At the Elephant Sanctuary, the use of target training has taught the elephants to present different body parts (often needed for examinations) in exchange for treats. It's done in a positive way, so the elephants really enjoy it, including Billie, the elephant I wrote about."