WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- An elephant crashed into a kitchen wall in Thailand.
- This is not the first time the animals raided a village for food.
- Experts believe that the incident is due to the limited resources in the animals’ natural habitat.
A hungry elephant crashed into the walls of a kitchen in Thailand on Saturday morning.
The homeowner, Ratchadawan Puengprasoppon, heard crashing and banging coming from her kitchen in the early hours of Saturday morning, and discovered an elephant’s head poking through her kitchen wall.
Boonchuay, the male elephant, appeared to be looking for something to eat. He knocked pans and cooking tools to the floor as he rummaged through the kitchen drawers using his trunk, and chewed on a plastic bag. Unsure what to do, Ratchadawan filmed the episode on her phone.
Itthipon Thaimonkol, the superintendent of Kaeng Krachan national park where Boonchuay lives, said elephants visit the Chalermkiatpattana village quite often during the local market because they can smell food.
According to Thai media, Boonchuay caused almost 50,000 baht (£1,140) worth of damage to Ratchadawan’s kitchen.
In Kanchanaburi, western Thailand, elephants from national parks always raid nearby crop fields, says Dr. Joshua Plotnik, an assistant professor of psychology at Hunter College in New York, who studies the elephants in the Salakpra Wildlife Sanctuary. Plotnik says it’s a difficult issue for both the farmers and the elephants. And while the farmers are frustrated with what is happening, they don’t blame the elephants out of respect and sympathy.
Itthipon said local volunteers and an officer of the national park work together to monitor the elephants and try to push them back towards the forest using loud noise and other deterrents.
In China, a herd of elephants recently traveled for 15 months from their natural habitat to cities, destroying barns and fields along the way. Hundreds of people were deployed to track the herd’s journey.
Plotnik said the increase in these incidences is likely due to a decrease in food and an increase in human disturbances in the animals’ natural habitat.
He said the best way to permanently address the issue is to increase the available resources in the elephants’ natural habitat.
Source: The Guardian