BANGKOK: An elephant broke into a house in the Thai resort town of Hua Hin in the early hours of Sunday (Jun 20), using its trunk to search for food through a hole in the kitchen wall.
Resident Ratchadawan Puengprasopporn said her family was asleep when she heard noises coming from the kitchen.
When she and her husband went to investigate, they saw the elephant poking its head into the kitchen, rummaging through the shelves and eating a plastic bag containing food.
This was not the first time Boonmee, a wild male elephant known among residents and park officials as a frequent visitor to the village, has intruded the house.
Local authorities and national parks officials visited Ratchadawan’s family the following day and advised them to remove food, especially salty items.
Pattarapol Maneeon, a veterinarian from the Department of National Parks and Wildlife, said it is possible that there is not enough salty food in the wild during the rainy season, forcing elephants to look for salt in local villages.
"Inside the house, we still have bags of salt, sauces, fermented fish,” he said, adding that these could attract elephants into returning.
“For now, we need to clear out these items that could draw them back."
Authorities have promised to repair Ratchadawan's house following the incident, while artificial salt licks will be provided in the forest for elephants.
According to the Thai Elephant Conservation Centre, there are an estimated 3,000 wild elephants in the country.