Elephant Raids A Woman’s Kitchen As Natural Habitats Dwindle


Emma Mansfield Contributor
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A wild Asian elephant busted through the wall of a Thai woman’s kitchen in a desperate search for a late-night-snack last weekend.

At 2 a.m. on Saturday, resident Ratchadawan Puengprasoppon of Thailand’s western Prachuap Khiri Khan province awoke to a sudden crash coming from downstairs.

“We rushed downstairs and saw this elephant poked its head into our kitchen where the wall was broken,” she said according to CNN.

A video captured by Ratchadawan shows the male elephant, named Boonchuay, rummaging through her kitchen drawers and cabinets to find something to eat. In the video, he pokes his head through the wall and uses his trunk to grab onto anything within reach.

This was not the first time Ratchadawan had encountered Boonchuay. Last month, he broke into her house, creating a massive hole in her kitchen wall. The hole, still not yet repaired, allowed him to return for a second time a few weeks later.

Ratchadawan lives near Thailand’s Kaeng Krachan national park, home to many elephants in the area. Her two run-ins with Boonchuay may be because of the park’s close proximity to her home, Huay Sat Yai subdistrict Administration Organization staff member Prateep Puywongtarn said according to CNN.

But elephant sightings are becoming increasingly common across Asia as their natural habitats shrink, a result of growing populations, agriculture, and infrastructure.

“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,” said Dr. Joshua Plotnik, assistant professor of psychology at Hunter College, City University of New York, according to the Guardian.

This reality can also be seen in China where recently, a herd of 15 elephants was seen travelling over 300 miles across the country. The herd went viral when they escaped from a nature reserve in South China, wreaking havoc on their journey.

Lost and with nowhere to go, the elephants caused over a million dollars worth in damages, according to CNN.

While no one is quite sure why they left the reserve, the herd reflects this same trend of growing human-elephant conflict as a result of their disintegrating natural habitat.

“The traditional buffer zones between humans and elephants are gradually disappearing, and the chances of elephants’ encountering humans naturally increase greatly,” said wildlife biologist and Beijing Normal University professor Zhang Li, according to the Global Times.