Greedy wild elephant that smashed through kitchen wall now stops passing pick-up truck to steal food
A greedy elephant that smashed through a kitchen wall has caused panic again – this time stopping a pick-up truck to steal food.
The 40-year-old bull named Plai Bunchuay rammed his head through the concrete building to steal a bag of rice in June in Hua Hin, southern Thailand.
Wildlife rangers paid for the damaged and said they would track the beast while trying to drive him deeper into the jungle away from humans.
However, the aggressive jumbo has still not been tamed and was seen this week terrorising a driver to steal food from the back of the vehicle.
Mobile phone footage taken by a shocked motorist shows the elephant reaching through metal bars with his long trunk to steal pieces of freshly-harvested sugarcane.
The driver froze in fear as the bull – standing more than 8ft tall – towered over the car with his deadly ivory tusks glistening in the midday on Monday December 1.
He was able to reverse and drive away without spooking the notoriously aggressive – and greedy – wild elephant in Prachuap Khiri Khan province, close to the town where the first raid happened.
Onlooker Anatthaphat said: ‘When I saw the elephant I shouted to him ‘hey, get out, hey, go away’. I wanted the elephant to leave but he didn’t listen to me.
‘This elephant is very naughty. He has learned how to hold up traffic and steal food when he’s hungry.’
Staff from the country’s National Park – the sprawling area of protected woodland where wild elephants live – believe the animals have changed their behaviour in response to the food available from humans.
Plucking food from homes and cars is easier for them and they are often attracted by the smell and sight, conservation officer Supanya Chengsutha said.
He added: ‘We haven’t been able to change Bunchuay’s behaviour. He’s a wild elephant so he just does what he wants. But there’s definitely no shortage of natural food for the elephants in their habitat.’
Thailand has an estimated 2,000 Asian elephants living in the wild but there is often conflict when they come into contact with humans on roads and in villages. A similar number of elephants are kept captive where they work in zoos and are hired out for religious festivals and weddings.