Rude Tourist Snaps Selfie With Elephant, Who Promptly Eats Her Purse
Elephants are easily one of the most beloved creatures on the planet - but all the attention that comes with being a celebrity of the animal kingdom isn't always welcome. Faced with throngs of pesky tourists invading their space, growing bolder by the day, at least one fed-up elephant has finally put her foot down.
A car full of tourists passing through India's Bandipur forest got more than they bargained for after stopping along the roadside to take a few selfies with an elephant mother and her young calf. The protective parent, naturally, wasn't thrilled.
"They began clicking pictures," witness Austin Cherupuzha told the Bangalore Mirror. "It may have been the camera flash which disturbed the pachyderm, and [she] charged at them. The couple managed to escape. The car's windows were open. It was then the bizarre thing happened."
Apparently, the angered elephant didn't feel that giving the rude selfie-snappers a scare was enough to teach them a lesson on minding others' privacy. She reached her trunk inside the car, grabbed a tourist's purse, which contained some fruit, gave it a few chews and swallowed it down.
Afterward, said Cherupuzha, the satisfied elephant simply continued on her way with baby in tow, leaving the group in disbelief.
The elephant's backstory isn't clear, but the chains visible around her ankles suggests that she is one of two dozen domestic elephants given relative freedom to roam the area under the protection of forestry authorities. The purse she ate also contained some jewelry and credit cards - and caretakers should be able to get help for her if she happens to get sick as a result.
Forestry officials say taking photographs is against the rules (and for good reason), but an increasing number of tourists have been doing it anyway.
"Travelers clicking pictures is turning out to be a big headache," Conservator of Forests H.C. Kantharaj told the Mirror. "While allowing people to pass through our gates, the guards repeatedly tell people not to stop midway to take photographs. In fact, we have put up boards all along, warning people not to even park their vehicles. However, people pay no heed to our warnings."
If fear of punishment from the authorities hasn't been enough to encourage visitors to treat animals with dignity and respect, perhaps this elephant mother's reaction will change their minds about snapping another rude selfie.