A hungry elephant broke into a woman’s home in Thailand in search of needed nutrients. Emboldened by the fact that humans have been feeding them, elephant sightings in the area of the Hua Hin district in western Prachuap Khiri Khan province have been on the rise.
“We were sleeping and woke up by a sound inside our kitchen,” Ratchadawan Puengprasoppon, the resident whose home was broken into by the elephant, told CNN of the incident. “So we rushed downstairs and saw this elephant poked its head into our kitchen where the wall was broken.”
Puengrasoopon caught the incredible event on camera. Check it out in the YouTube clip from the CNA news service below:
This was the second time an elephant has entered her home, with another one (or possibly the same one!) having smashed the hole into her wall last month. This one is known in the area, and his name is reportedly Boonchuay, The Guardian said.
Thailand’s Department of National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation said in a Thai-language Facebook post, as reported by CNN, that the elephant was likely looking for minerals from salty food. Puengprasoppon told media that no food was being stored in the house — just salt.
The animal probably came from the nearby Kaeng Krachan National Park. Some people in the area even try to entice the elephants to come near their homes.
“Some of the people in this village like to put food around their houses to feed the wild elephants that come out of the forest at night,” Edwin Wiek, director and founder of animal rescue center Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand, told Insider. “This has become kind of a problem in the last 15 years as the elephants do not respect any distancing any longer due to this.”
Encounters between humans and elephants don’t always end well. Conflict between species can result in property damage, human deaths (500 every year in India), elephant deaths (about 100 per year in India) and other issues. Volunteers and employees from the national park typically work together to use loud noise and other methods to try to get the elephants to return to the forest.
“These incidences are increasing in Asia, and it is likely due to a decrease in available resources and an increase in human disturbances in the elephants’ habitat,” Dr. Joshua Plotnik, an assistant professor psychology at Hunter College, City University of New York, told The Guardian.