An angry elephant attacked a model jumbo sculpture at a park’s entrance after mistaking it for a love rival.
The male elephant was searching for food near the Khao Yai National Park’s tourist service centre when he spotted the rock sculpture that looked like him in Nakhon Ratchasima province on August 20.
He then stared for a few moments at the artwork with long, white tusks before charging at the inanimate object which fell on its side.
Thinking it was victorious over the sculpture, the jumbo walked away towards triumphantly the forest while park rangers looked on from a distance.
National Park officer Ple Srichai said the bull is likely to have mistook the sculpture for another male which threatened his breeding rights.
He said: ‘I thought it was funny how the wild elephant was trying to attack the statue. Male elephants often fighht over females so maybe he thought it was a real elephant he needed to show his dominance over.’
There were also shocked onlookers who watched and screamed as the male jumbo knocked down the statue. When the elephant left, the officers removed the sculpture.
No one was reported hurt in the incident and officers decided that they should transfer the sculpture into another part of the park to prevent a similar attack happening again.
Male Asian elephants roam alone and only join herds to mate. In contrast, African male elephants remain part of the herds for their whole life.
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.