When these elephants showed it's not conflict they want

The elephants collected the loose bunches of sugar cane, which were already kept over the tightly wound loads on the trucks. Photo: special arrangement.

A few weeks ago, Dr Harish Valsan, an orthopaedic surgeon with Daya Hospital in Thrissur and his friend Ajith Kumar, also a doctor, were returning from Mysuru after attending an orthopaedic conference in Mysuru.

They were travelling by car and as they drove near the Sathyamangalam forest the duo encountered a slight traffic block. The medicos noticed that a group of elephants were waiting behind a small bamboo grove by the roadside.

Dr Harish, also a wildlife photographer by passion, and Ajith went past them and stopped ahead to see what was going on. To their surprise, the doctors witnessed the herd moving onto the road and stopping gently three trucks full of sugar canes.

The drivers stopped the trucks and got out. The doctors saw some loose bunches of sugar cane were already kept over the tightly wound loads. Those loose sugar canes seemed to have been kept deliberately on all the trucks for the sake of the pachyderms and they took the canes without bothering the main load.

The animals didn’t disturb any of the vehicles nor did they cause any harm to anyone present there, until one man unnecessarily moved too close to the elephants shouting and taking photos.

Interestingly, the jumbos limited their ire only to the man who intruded into their territory and challenged their composure. The whole event lasted only a few minutes and things turned normal soon. It essentially displays the pattern of animal and human behaviour hinting at the fundamental reason for the epochal animal-human conflict.

A couple of years ago, a similar video had originated from Thailand that showed an elephant frisking trucks passing through a highway, dragging out a few sugar canes from one of them and chomping away on the road itself.

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