This is the moment an elephant who sᴍᴀsʜᴇᴅ through a kitchen wall to sᴛᴇᴀʟ a bag of rice squeezed into another family’s porch to eat their cat food in the middle of the night. The 40-year-old adult bull, named Plai Bunchuay, sniffed out the food and ʙʀᴏᴋᴇ ɪɴᴛᴏ the house’s front porch in Hua Hin, southern Thailand, on Tuesday night. The elephant achieved notoriety earlier this week when he ʀᴀᴍᴍᴇᴅ through a family’s kitchen wall to sᴛᴇᴀʟ a bag of rice in the same coastal town on Sunday morning at 2am. He was shooed away back into the jungle but emerged again on Tuesday night – this time happy with some cat food as a snack.
The elephant was filmed stomping through the family’s front yard before squeezing his ʜᴜɢᴇ body into the home’s front porch and eating some of the cat food left for their pets. The fiasco happened around 2 a.m. when flabbergasted resident Phungprasopporn and her husband were reportedly woken up by a strange noise. They rushed to the kitchen to see what was amiss and was sʜᴏᴄᴋᴇᴅ to find the elephant’s bottom sticking out of the entrance of his front porch while the animal peered out through the opened door.
The elephant’s tail can be seen happily swaying as the animal munches on some cat food it found on the front porch. While eating his dinner, the elephant slowly moved backwards into the front porch before plodding towards Natthakan. With its head nearly touching the roof, the animal ended up standing by the doorway of Natthakan’s house while enjoying his snack. They were sʜᴏᴄᴋᴇᴅ to see the elephant with its ʜᴜɢᴇ ivory tusks rummaging through the cupboard with its long trunk. It even grabbed a plastic bag of rice which it shoved into its mouth.
Natthakan said: “I knew this elephant, we saw him in the news so we were a bit excited and sʜᴏᴄᴋᴇᴅ at the same time. He ate some of the cat food we kept on the front porch for our pets. He must have been hungry and wandered into the villages again. He’s a clever animal but he’s also scary.” The ᴡɪʟᴅ jumbo finished eating the cat food before leaving the property without leaving any ᴅᴀᴍᴀɢᴇ. He was seen returning to the direction leading to the forest.
Rachadawan said her husband helped to shoo away the ʙᴇᴀsᴛ, which disappeared into nearby woodland. Phungprasopporn has since reported the bizarre burglary to ᴡɪʟᴅʟɪꜰᴇ officials, who advised them to, ironically, keep food out of the kitchen because the smell attracts elephants.
She said: “This elephant is well known in the area because he causes a lot of mischief. He came to the house about two months ago and was looking around, but he didn’t ᴅᴀᴍᴀɢᴇ anything then. We spoke to the local ᴡɪʟᴅʟɪꜰᴇ officers and they told us not to keep food out in the kitchen because the smell attracts the elephants, so we followed their advice. The wall will cost about 50,000 Baht (£1,140) to repair. It was funny to see the elephant like that but also I’m worried he could come back again.”
Thailand has an estimated 2,000 Asian elephants living in the ᴡɪʟᴅ but there is often conflict when they come into contact with humans on roads and in villages. Staff from the country’s National Park – the sprawling area of protected woodland where ᴡɪʟᴅ elephants live – believe the animals have changed their behaviour in response to the food available from humans.
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 behaviour 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 ʜᴜɴᴛᴇʀs and ᴛʀᴀᴘs in the jungle have disrupted the elephant and it has moved out of the deep forest more towards settlements.”