Most of us have seen performing elephants forced to unnaturally balance on a ball, but it’s much more fun watching them play a ball game freely with their friends.

In this video, elephants at the Elephant Nature Park play with supporter Dani Globetrotter’s gift of a red rubber ball. Watch as they kick the ball around joyfully, just like kids in a schoolyard. Their enjoyment is clearly to be seen; obviously, this is an organic form of play for the elephants, not a contrived activity performed solely for human amusement. But interestingly enough, it’s much more fun to watch than any unnatural tricks.

Thailand’s Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai offers sanctuary and a natural environment for dozens of elephants and other animals. The animals’ interactions with each other and the toys available at the park show that they have the same abilities to bond with their friends and experience joy as humans do.

Image Source: Mohan Raj / Wikimedia Commons