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Friday, May 17, 2013

Yala National Parks Gemunu elephant pounces tourists takes lunch

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From: Ravi Narasimhan <ravi.narasimhan.in@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, May 13, 2013 at 5:42 AM
Subject: [www.keralites.net] Yala-National-Parks-Gemunu-elephant-pounces-tourists-takes-lunch.htm
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Gemunu the elephant's thieving ways are making him notorious in Yala National Park        
 
He was caught in the act when he ambushed a car containing wildlife photographer Aditya Sing
By Damien Gayle
PUBLISHED: 09:16 GMT, 30 April 2013 | UPDATED: 11:31 GMT, 30 April 2013
Would you argue if a five-ton bully wanted to make off with your lunch?
Gemunu the elephant is fast becoming notorious at his home in Yala National Park, Sri Lanka, for ambushing wide-eyed tourists and running of with their food.
A recent spate of thefts where he has used his trunk to search cars as they drive through the park have left visitors alarmed by his unruly behaviour.
Hey! Gemunu pushes over the driver of a car as he scours the interior of the vehicle for any snacks its passengers might be hiding
Gemunu makes use of his trunk: Visitors have been left alarmed by a recent spate of thefts by Gemunu who has targeted their vehicles as they drive through the park
Caught in the act: These pictures were taken by wildlife photographer Aditya Singh who was at the park earlier this month when Gemunu targeted his car
 
'Regular habit': Mr Singh said it's over the past year that Gemunu has started raiding occupied vehicles, after learning that those inside often travelled with tasty snacks
Wildlife photographer Aditya Singh, from Rajasthan, India, was at the park earlier this month when Gemunu targeted the car he was travelling in.
The 46-year-old said: 'I'm told that even as a baby, while Gemunu's mother was very wary of vehicles and visitors, he was always extremely intrigued by them.           

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'As soon as he left the herd he started spending most of his time at the edge of the park near the Sithulpawuwa temple.
'While he was there he was fed by the monks and soon realised that the cars parked there usually had some food inside.
'Apparently he used to just pick at the food until about a year ago when he actually started raiding cars. Now it has become a regular habit.'
Notorious: Mr Singh was just learning about Gemunu's thieving ways from his friend, Mevan Piyasena, when then the 22-year-old elephant ambushed their car
Ambush! Mr Singh said all he could do during the attack was stay calm, keep away from Gemunu's tusks, and keep the camera steady - then away as fast as they could
Mr Singh was just learning about Gemunu's thieving ways from his friend, Mevan Piyasena, when then the 22-year-old elephant ambushed their car.
'First Gemunu pushed our driver, Janaka, off his seat and then he poked his head inside the car looking for food,' he said
'He checked each one of us with his trunk and then poked his trunk all around our Landcruiser looking for food but we didn't have any.
'All that I could think of was to stay calm, keep away from his big tusks and keep the camera steady.
'After what seemed like hours, though it was just a few minutes, he moved on to the next car. We just got out of there as fast as we could.'
           

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Thanks & Best Regards,
 
 
AIJAZ AHMED
Dammam
Saudi Arabia