Pointing is part of the act of emotional projection, which is how we direct our force. (BTW, force is energy.) The projection of force is universal throughout the animal kingdom. It has nothing to do with domestication per se, in other words, animals don't "figure out" human gestures because of a history of close proximity. And as Darwin noted, what we call domestication is simply evolution on the fast track. It doesn't remove an animal from nature. Domestication is the amplification of natural tendencies already extant in the wild. Furthermore, prey and predator do not compete against each other. They evolve in syncopation. They are in communication on the most primordial level, emotion. The predator helps the prey evolve, the prey helps the predator evolve. The pressure of predation begets the protective factor of sociability. Sociability allows an animal to absorb more predatory charge, and in tandem be able to project more predatory charge. Thus, emotion is predicated on the first two traits that constitute any living being, the predatory aspect and the preyful aspect. The predatory aspect of an animal projects its energy forward in order to move and in order to interact with others. The preyful aspect of an animal absorbs projected energy so that it can move away as well as to be able to interact with others. Because of this fundamental template, a prey species is able to perceive where a predator is projecting its energy so as to avoid predation. Likewise the predator can perceive where the prey is projecting its energy in order to intercept it. This is a universal template that evolved to serve as the basis of all communication and connection. The only question is whether or not any given animal can hold onto this feeling when in the presence of human beings: the organism with the most pronounced predatory aspect, the only animal to stand absolutely upright, the only animal able to throw projectiles through a shoulder assembly that permits full rotation and therefore the greatest projection of force, the only animal able to project its mind outside the bounds of a moment and conceptualize the phenomenon of flow as Time, which then maximizes the capacity to project force exponentially. The flight distance threshold of animals relative to human beings increased in tandem with the capacity of humans to project force.
Some species are more pronounced than others in regard to projection and collection (absorb projected energy) due to the Constructal Law, i.e. every flow system is constituted by a few large and many small. Thus there are a few great projectors on the predator side of the divide, and many of a small capacity, and there are a few great projectors on the prey side of the divide, and many of a small capacity. This is the ratio for all systems. It is not arrived at randomly but due to the laws of nature. My interpretation is that elephants evolved a high emotional capacity (as opposed to intellectual acuity) through the pressure of predation and thus became very social as their capacity to absorb force evolved in tandem. Because elephants have a high emotional capacity, they are highly aggressive, and this is likewise counterbalanced by the equal and opposite high collection capacity (can absorb projected energy without reacting reflexively). Thus elephants can hold onto the feeling of the fundamental template even when in the presence of human beings.