Witnesses told the "Hindustan Times" daily that the elephant has been scouting for food on a highway, forcing motorists to roll down windows and get out of their vehicles. "The tusker then inserts its trunk inside the vehicle and sniffs for food," Prabodh Mohanty, who has had two encounters with the elephant, told the newspaper. "If you are carrying vegetables and bananas inside your vehicle, then it will gulp them and allow you to go."
But if the motorist does not roll down the glasses of the vehicle or resists opening the vehicle door, the pachyderm pushes the vehicle and stands right in front of it until the driver allows him to carry out its routine check.
Forest officials said the elephant is old and looking for easy food. "We are telling commuters regularly not to tease the elephant," said Sirish Mohanty, a forest ranger. "So far it has not harmed anybody. But if people don't heed our advice and harass the tusker, then it can retaliate."
India is home to nearly half the total population of wild Asian elephants. Of the 10 000 elephants in the country, more than 60% live in the eastern states.
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