Raider elephants hit Thailand highway Thu Feb 1, 5:46 AM ET
They give a whole new meaning to things that go bump in the night. Elephants have recently taken to blocking a highway frequently used by produce trucks in Thailand but which also runs through the Ang Lue Nai wildlife reserve.
Drivers say the wild beasts have raided trucks on the road, which links Bangkok with three eastern border provinces.
"It was one night when six vehicles were attacked, my lorry was in the third incident that night," said Manoon Srisalao, a tapioca lorry driver.
Some drivers said the elephants head-butted their vehicles when they could not get to the produce they were carrying.
"Sometimes the whole elephant herd, six or seven of them, stand in middle of the road... some of them try to pull sugar canes from the lorry, when they can not, they just break the wind shield," said driver Puern Meksan.
Officials at the natural reserve said they were surprised by the accidents, since the elephants are not normally aggressive. But they have imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew on the road.
Many visitors to the reserve sympathise with the elephants. In the past few years, three were killed and seven injured on the highway, reserve officials said. More than 14,000 animals, including endangered frogs, birds and deer were also run over.
Three motorists have so far died in animal-related crashes.
"People have to accept the conditions here, because we are reaching into the animal habitat, so we have to be more careful when we travel on the road," said You Senatham of the reserve.
This is a genuine Reuters news story. This is how we teach bears to come to camp sites in national parks looking for food, and end up upset when the bears seem to attack a campers. If you hold out a piece of bacon for a bear, they can't tell where the bacon ends and your hand begins. It's all food to them. Surprise.