20/06/2024

A Hungry Elephant Targets Tourists For Their Lunch

Would you ᴀʀɢᴜᴇ if a five-ton ʙᴜʟʟʏ wanted to have lunch with you Gemunu the elephant is quickly becoming infamous at his home in Yala National Park, Sri Lanka, for ᴀᴍʙᴜsʜɪɴɢ big-eyed tourists and running for their food.

A recent spate of ᴛʜᴇꜰᴛs in which he used his trunk to search for cars as they drove through the park has alarmed visitors with his unruly behavior. Gemunu pushes over the driver of a car as he scours the interior of the vehicle for any snacks its passengers might be hiding. Visitors have been left alarmed by a recent spate of ᴛʜᴇꜰᴛs by Gemunu who has targeted their vehicles as they drive through the park.

These pictures were taken by ᴡɪʟᴅʟɪꜰᴇ photographer Aditya Singh who was at the park earlier this month when Gemunu targeted his car. Mr. Singh said it’s over the past year that Gemunu has started ʀᴀɪᴅɪɴɢ occupied vehicles, after learning that the inside often traveled with tasty snacks.

ᴡɪʟᴅʟɪꜰᴇ photographer Aditya Singh, from Rajasthan, India, was at the park earlier this month when Gemunu targeted the vehicle he was traveling. The 46-year-old said: ‘I’ve been told that since he was a baby, while Gemunu’s mother was very wary of vehicles and tourists, he was always attracted by them.

‘As soon as he left the herd, he began to spend most of his time at the edge of the park near Sithulpawuwa temple. While he was there, he was being fed by monks and soon realized that cars parked there often had some food inside. Obviously, he usually just picked up the food until about a year before he actually started hitting the cars. Now it has become a regular habit.’

Mr. Singh was just learning about Gemunu’s ᴛʜɪᴇᴠɪɴɢ ways from his friend, Mevan Piyasena when then the 22-year-old elephant ambushed their car. Mr. Singh said all he could do during the ᴀᴛᴛᴀᴄᴋ was stay calm, keep away from Gemunu’s tusks, and keep the camera steady – then away as fast as they could, had just learned about Gemunu’s ᴛʜᴇꜰᴛs from his friend, Mevan Piyasena when the 22-year-old elephant later ambushed their car.

“First, Gemunu pushed our driver, Janaka, out of the seat, and then he stuck his head inside the car looking for food,” he said. ‘He checked each of us with the trunk of his car and then poked his trunk around our Landcruiser looking for food, but we had nothing. ‘All I could think of was to stay calm, stay away from his big tusks, and keep the camera steady. ‘After a few hours, even a few minutes, he moved on to the next car. We just got out of there as fast as we could. ‘

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