"Elephant in the room" is an English metaphorical idiom for an obvious truth that is either being ignored or going unaddressed. The idiomatic expression also applies to an obvious problem or risk no one wants to discuss.
It is based on the idea that an elephant in a room would be impossible to overlook; thus, people in the room who pretend the elephant is not there have chosen to avoid dealing with the looming big issue.
That description is from Wikipedia.
In Thailand, you don't need no stinkin' metaphor. An elephant may just be in the room!
We went to dinner in U-Thong at a restaurant by the side of the busy highway going through the center of town. Only this was a dinner eaten off of a blue folding metal table, put there by the street food vendor who had her motorcycle food cart parked right near the curb of the road. Like many restaurants in Thailand, this room had no walls. We were outside, large dirty trucks crashing by twenty feet away.
A small fellow suddenly appeared, leading an elephant about the size of a VW bug, only taller. It had a bright red light fastened on the top of its tail. That's right, an elephant with a TAIL LIGHT. No kidding. He wanted money from the rich farang (foreigner). No more than five minutes later, another young fellow came along, leading an even younger and smaller elephant. No tail light. Also wanted money.
There's a surprise in this country every day!!
Yes, folks in Thailand are allowed to own their own elephants, although they are NOT supposed to take them into the cities.
While a unique experience for a farang from the US, it gives one pause and is actually rather sad when you think about the plight of the elephants. Chang (the Thai word for elephant, pronounced "chong," not "chang") is a huge part of the culture here, the national symbol of Thailand. And the importance of the chang in the culture was well earned by the considerable amount of work they did to help build the nation. At the Grand Palace and Wats (temples) all over the country, there are statues and pictures of chang everywhere!