Hungry wild elephant steals sugarcane from passing trucks like highway robber


A hungry wild elephant stole sugarcane from passing trucks like a highway robber in Thailand.

Footage shows the jumbo stopping traffic to inspect the vehicles passing through the forest in Chachoengsao province on February 12.

The animal, identified by park rangers as Kuad, walked on the side of the road before using its trunk to signal motorists to stop.

In the video, an approaching truck carrying freshly-harvested sugarcane stalks and potatoes slowed down upon seeing the jumbo.

The animal then walked closer to the truck to reach some of the exposed sugarcane stalks.

Kuad was able to stop two trucks passing through the forest route in Khao Ang Rue Nai Wildlife Sanctuary.

Onlooker Su Panya watched the animal stop the vehicles from a safe distance alongside other drivers.

He said: ‘The elephant only grabbed food from them. It was not aggressive at all. It’s as if the animal had done this several times before.’

Wildlife officials believe that smart wild elephants have honed the habit of stealing fresh food from vehicles, which provide a plentiful source of food.

An estimated 2,000 elephants are living in the wild in Thailand and a similar number in captivity, where they live in sanctuaries, zoos or work privately for hire at weddings and festivals. In the wild, there is a conflict when they come in contact with humans who also use the area for farming and gathering food.

Elephants are a protected animal in Thailand and killing them carries a maximum prison term of up to three years and a fine of 1,000 baht (25GBP).