For your daily dose of adorable animal posts, look no further than this picture of a baby elephant that tried to hide behind a pole after being caught eating sugarcane in a field. The photos were taken in Chiang Mai, which happens to be a rather big city in the more mountainous area in the northern portion of Thailand that’s better known for its sugar cane plantations.
The playful elephant was feasting on sugarcane at a farmer’s field when it saw humans approaching and apparently decided that the best course of action would be to hide behind a pole much smaller than itself.
Of course the fact that it’s body is much wider than the pole only made it look that much ᴄᴜᴛer in its attempts at camouflaging itself.
As the locals entered the sugarcane field with their fʟᴀsʜlights as they approached the elephant, the baby calf attempted to stand incredibly still, hoping that it wouldn’t be seen.
The hilarious photograph was posted on Facebook with a caption (translated from Thai) that reads: “Keep calm. Officers will see. Let’s continue eating sugarcane.”
The picture has garnered hundreds of amused comments on Facebook and quickly spread to other social media platforms like Twitter and Reddit, where people have been gushing over the elephant.
Elephants are known to love bananas and sugarcanes. Earlier this year, Indian Forest Service officer Susanta Nanda had shared a video of another sugarcane thief – this one more ʙʀᴀᴢᴇɴ than our bashful little baby elephant.
Thailand has around 7,000 elephants living in the country, with over half of them kept in captivity. Meanwhile others live in the wild, in the deeper jungles of the country as those in captivity are in national parks, pʀᴏᴛected legally by a number of wildlife laws. Sadly, some locals that live in the more rural zones that grow and cultivate food in those areas look at elephants as ᴘᴇsᴛs, as revealed by a study that was conducted by one of Thailand’s foundations, Bring the Elephant Home (BTEH). Sadly, ‘about 70 percent of the plantation owners working for sugar industry giants even wish that elephants would be totally ᴇʀᴀᴅɪᴄᴀᴛᴇᴅ, compared to 34 percent of households.’
Thankfully, there are laws in place in the country, making elephants a pʀᴏᴛected species within Thailand. The ᴋɪʟʟing of an elephant can result in a maximum ᴘʀɪsᴏɴ term of up to three years, as well as a 1,000 Baht fine, roughly exchanged to $33. These days, a number of elephant parks are available for both locals and tourists to have their own experience with these beautiful creatures.
The elephant, which is also considered the national animal of Thailand, represents strength, loyalty and resilience for the Thai people. In fact, for the Thai and Buddhist cultures, they are also considered a ‘basis of folklore in the Southeast Asian nation throughout its modern history.’ Due to its popularity, elephants can be found on a number of different items throughout Thailand, from clothing, to beer bottles, popular culture, and even the national flag up until 1917.
Although there is no longer an elephant logo on the national flag, the country still continues to use them everywhere. One such example is the Elephant Building, a 1997 high-rise building that was shaped to look like an elephant.