Boonchuay, a young male elephant from Kaeng Krachan National Park in southern Thailand, was already known for raiding nearby corn and sugarcane fields and the adjacent village of Chalermkiatpattana, where pachyderms often break in on market days. , attracted by the smell of fruit and vegetables, devouring everything they find within range of their proboscis. But this time the glutton Boonchuay made it big. After overwhelming the laundry room and the hanging clothes, he broke the wooden wall of the kitchen of a private house with his fangs and grabbed shopping bags and everything edible he could find with his trunk.
Everyone here knows that the wild elephants of the park, if they can’t find food or are not given to eat, feed where they find edible vegetables without much regard. But the reaction of Ratchadawan Puengprasoppon, the owner of the devastated house, was surprising. Awakened at dawn by the hustle and bustle caused by the elephant, the woman photographed the pachyderm and posted the image on Facebook with the comment
In Buddhist Thailand, the elephant is a sacred animal, respected by all as a manifestation of the god Ganesh (with elephant head), a syncretism inherited from the time, prior to conversion to Buddhism, in which the country was of Hindu faith. But two other factors also contribute to Ratchadawan’s reaction. The boundless love of Thais for animals, from dogs to monkeys, which goes far beyond the spirit of non-violence and the commandment not to kill living beings of their religion. And last but not least, the fact that the Department of National Parks reimburses the damage caused by its animals as quickly as possible. The local agents of the park immediately made the inspection to decide the extent of the reimbursement of the damages caused in Ratchadawan by the insatiable Boonchuay: in 24 hours the woman received 50,000 baht (about 1350) in damages. Maximum efficiency also because the park is located near the tourist town of Hua Hin, in the province of Prachuap Khiri Khan, where the beautiful bay of Ao Manao, enclosed by towering stacks, houses the seaside residence of the Thai king.
Uninsulated facts. In Chon Buri last year, three elephants chased a motorcyclist who was carrying food to his home and devastated its facade. And in the same area a pachyderm invaded a house, protected by zinc panels, causing damage. Inhabitants and farmers affected ask the authorities to find solutions but they do not stop looking with sympathy at these cumbersome and intrusive animals. Also because in Asia these facts are more and more frequent because man has progressively reduced their habitat and Boonchuay and his companions are only trying to regain what has been taken away from them by industrialization and urbanization.
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