Elephants in circuses are made to balance on a drum, walk around in circles with acrobats on their back, stand for the audience on their hind legs. People clap for these creatures of majesty and power as they are made to bow down to human whims.
People clap for this elephant too, but only out of awe and respect. He is the ring master and only whips the concrete under his feet for the noise…his troupe starts to juggle, tightrope-walk and trapeze at his command only, and the mice squeak his praise ( mostly to let him know they're down there, and to please not accidentally trample on them.).