Hungry wild elephant smashes its head through kitchen wall

This is the terrifying moment a family found a hungry wild elephant with its head poking through their kitchen wall stealing a bag of rice.

The bull, named Plai Bunchuay, sniffed out the food and smashed through the concrete structure in Hua Hin, southern Thailand, on Sunday morning at 2 am.

Shocked resident Rachadawan Phungprasopporn and her husband were woken up by the noise and rushed to the kitchen to see what had happened.

They were astonished to see the jumbo with its huge ivory tusks rummaging through the cupboard with its long trunk. It even grabbed a plastic bag of rice which it shoved into its mouth.

Rachadawan said her husband helped to shoo away the beast, which disappeared into nearby woodland.

She said: “This elephant is well known in the area because he causes a lot of mischief. He came to the house about two months ago and was looking around, but he didn't damage anything then.

“We spoke to the local wildlife officers and they told us not to keep food out in the kitchen because the smell attracts the elephants, so we followed their advice.

“The wall will cost about 50,000 Baht to repair. It was funny to see the elephant like that but also I'm worried he could come back again.”

Thailand has an estimated 2,000 Asian elephants living in the wild but there is often conflict when they come into contact with humans on roads and in villages.

Staff from the country's National Park - the sprawling area of protected woodland where wild elephants live - believe the animals have changed their behaviour in response to the food available from humans.

Conservation officer Supanya Chengsutha said: “The most likely explanation for this situation is that the elephant smelled the food and wanted to eat it.

“It's not because the elephant was particularly hungry, as the food in the jungle has stayed the same. There is plenty and that hasn’t changed.

“But sometimes individual elephants experience a change in their behaviour and character, so there’s no one factor why they would do this.

“Elephant eating habits have also changed now that they come into contact with humans more. They have started to like the food that people eat.

“It could also be that hunters and traps in the jungle have disrupted the elephant and it has moved out of the deep forest more towards settlements.”