|Some time back The Elephant Story published articles and videos highlighting the lunacy of building highways through an elephant sanctuary in order to link the metropolis of Bangkok with condominium developments on the other side of the Khao Yai National Park and elephant sanctuary. Relative to the issue of man and machine versus elephants, the elephants are winning. It turns out that a large tusker by the name of Duea has chosen to become the official Khao Yai greeter. What is unknown is whether he is in "musth" which is a periodic condition characterized by aggressive behavior following a sixty-fold rise in testosterone level or he is just aggravated by the sanctuary traffic.
No matter what, if Duea comes out to meet you on a drive through Khao Yai, watch out as his intentions may not be honorable. The tusker is a 35-year old bull elephant in his prime.
In fact, he has developed a penchant for coming out to engage with tourists and ultimately mount the cars as shown below. Now the question is whether his stomach itches or he has overwhelming romantic intentions. Clearly, the automobiles suffer the consequences.
There are clear rules posted and though they are written in Thai, those of you who do not understand Thai should be able to get the picture. Elephants are bigger than cars and can readily destroy a vehicle or most anything else in their path.
The messages are pretty clear in Thai-stay 30 meters away from an elephant facing you, no flash photography, no horns, no headlights, avoid being an elephant sandwich, do not get out of the vehicle and do not attempt to intimidate the elephant by taking it straight on. The real message is the greed of developers and politicians can destroy what otherwise would have been a natural habitat and sanctuary.