Elephants in Thailand reserve
Asian elephants roam the Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand in July 5, 2020.
Wally Santana/AP
  • Boonchuay the Asian elephant poked his head through a hole in the kitchen, looking for food.
  • The resident of the house said the hole was previously created by an elephant last month, CNN reported.
  • Elephants in the region have become emboldened by humans feeding them, an expert told Insider.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

A woman in Thailand woke up in the middle of the night last weekend to a jumbo house visitor – an elephant rummaging through her kitchen.

Ratchadawan Puengprasoppon, a resident of the Hua Hin seaside resort district, filmed the male elephant as it poked its head through a hole in the wall and searched for food with its trunk, sending plates and bowls clattering to the floor.

At one point, he scooped up a plastic bag and popped it in his mouth.

The elephant, named Boonchuay, has reportedly visited Ratchadawan's village before and lives in a national park nearby, according to The Guardian.

The hole in Ratchadawan's kitchen wall was previously smashed in by an elephant last month, reported CNN, though it is unclear if this was the same elephant.

"I have seen elephants roaming around our town looking for food since I was young. But this is the first time they actually damaged my house," Ratchadawan told CNN.

She suspected that Boonchuay was after some salt stored in her kitchen since there was no food inside.

Edwin Wiek, director and founder of animal rescue center Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand about 18 miles outside of Hua Hin, told Insider that the elephant's behavior isn't uncommon.

"Some of the people in this village like to put food around their houses to feed the wild elephants that come out of the forest at night," he said.

"This has become kind of a problem in the last 15 years as the elephants do not respect any distancing any longer due to this."

Wiek said that while the region's elephant population has grown in the last two decades because of better protection, the habit of feeding them has resulted in increased conflict between humans and elephants in recent years.

Last year, a video surfaced online showing a wild elephant from a nature reserve tramping through a garden in eastern Thailand.

A herd of elephants in China made recent headlines as the group trekked hundreds of miles from their wildlife reserve home for no apparent reason, visiting city streets and farms.

Asian elephants are endangered and declining overall. Only 50,000 are left in the wild, and the species is under threat mostly from habitat loss and human-elephant conflict.

Read the original article on Insider