Thankfully no one was harmed in the process, apart from the wall broken by the elephant which will cost the family about $1,578 to fix.
When an elephant became extremely hungry one night, it broke into the kitchen of a Thailand-based family and stole a bag of rice. The incredible incident unfolded in Hua Hin, southern Thailand, at around 2 a.m. on Sunday. Rachadawan Phungprasopporn and her husband were sound asleep in their home when an adult elephant named Plai Buchuay managed to locate the food. As the elephant was breaking into their home, both Rachadawan and her partner were woken up by the noise and they rushed towards the kitchen. They were shocked to see an elephant with huge ivory tusks rummaging through their cupboard with its long trunk.
According to Daily Mail, Plai Buchuay grabbed a bag of rice and shoved it in his mouth before the owners arrived at the scene. The couple captured the unusual moment on camera and shooed the animal away. It eventually disappeared into the nearby woodland. Apparently, this particular elephant is quite popular for its naughtiness, however, it's the first time it had damaged property. "This elephant is well known in the area because he causes a lot of mischief," said Rachadawan. "He came to the house about two months ago and was looking around, but he didn't damage anything then."
"We spoke to the local wildlife officers and they told us not to keep food out in the kitchen because the smell attracts the elephants, so we followed their advice," she added. But despite following the advice and keeping the food away, Plai managed to sniff out the rice in the kitchen with his incredibly keen nose. Now, the family has to pay a hefty amount to get their home's wall repaired. "The wall will cost about 50,000 Baht ($1,578.96) to repair. It was funny to see the elephant like that but also I'm worried he could come back again," Rachadawan expressed.
In Thailand, there are about 2,000 Asian elephants living in the wild. When they come in contact with humans in villages or on roads, there is often conflict. Officials from the country's National Park, a protected woodland area where elephants reside, believe that these giant animals have changed their behavior towards the food that is consumed by humans. Interpreting the recent incident, Conservation officer Supanya Chengsutha said, "The most likely explanation for this situation is that the elephant smelled the food and wanted to eat it."
"It's not because the elephant was particularly hungry, as the food in the jungle has stayed the same. There is plenty and that hasn’t changed. But sometimes individual elephants experience a change in their behavior and character, so there’s no one factor why they would do this. Elephant eating habits have also changed now that they come into contact with humans more. They have started to like the food that people eat. It could also be that hunters and traps in the jungle have disrupted the elephant and it has moved out of the deep forest more towards settlements," noted Chengsutha.
Cover image source: Facebook | Chutima Sudjanya