Elephants have very playful and engaging personalities, which is often evident through their various encounters with humans. Sometimes they show it by interrupting a reporter during a TV broadcast or stopping to listen to a classical musician playing the piano. They never fail to surprise us with their charm and intelligence. Luckily, in Thailand, “elephant crossing” signs have been installed to protect these beautiful creatures from oncoming traffic. And thanks to their unique smarts, elephants have recognized the safety afforded to them by these signs and some have even taken advantage of it by taking their “sweet” time to cross the road and pick up a snack along the way.
In a series of videos posted by the Thai Elephant Documentary Channel on YouTube, elephants can be seen indulging on the sugar cane being transported by open-top trucks in the area. These majestic mammals have followed the same paths for centuries, and seemed to have somewhat assimilated when humans built roads that crossed their territory. However, accidents were bound to happen. To prevent further unnecessary collisions and injuries, the government marked the areas where elephants may roam to alert drivers. But clever as they are, elephants seemed to notice that vehicles were now slowing and stopping for them—including trucks carrying tons of freshly-cropped sugar cane, which they love to eat.
One video shows an elephant on the edge of the road, as if it's about to cross to the other side. Once it has spotted a truck carrying sugar cane, the elephant actually walks into the road, making drivers go around it at first, and then makes a full stop. The animal then gets close to the truck and steals a little bit of the delicious cargo. Probably familiar with the situation by now, the driver doesn't fight off the elephant, and even seems to wait as long as the elephant needs to steal a snack to prevent any accidents.
The video was also shared on Reddit, although mistakenly stating the location of the video as Cambodia. (AFP Thailand corrected this mislabeling of the location.) It earned over 120,000 upvotes, and come commenters even compared the elephants to a local mafia, shaking down locals and collecting their land tax. “Lmao animals straight taxing us now, fair enough,” one user said. Another stated that the whole ordeal makes for an interesting form of morning traffic. One thing's for certain: not many people around the world can say that they were delayed by an elephant picking up breakfast.