Encounters with wild animals have become a commonplace sight these days. One of the most frequent scenes from the Western Ghats is that of wild elephants emerging onto roads or venturing into nearby villages and farmlands in search of food. This occurrence is so routine that locals have assigned names to some of these elephants. While some of these creatures wreak havoc and even assault people, there are others that remain composed and accustomed to vehicles and human presence. A recent incident in Kerala, near the Sholayar forest area, involved a wild elephant named Kabali obstructing the road. A video of a bus driver addressing his passengers and urging them to remain calm in this situation has now gone viral.
The video displays a wild elephant obstructing the road, cutting through the jungle. This incident most likely took place on the Chalakkudy-Malakkappara route, which traverses the Sholayar reserve forest. Sightings of elephants are quite frequent along this route. The video was actually captured by a passenger on the bus. Upon spotting the elephant on the road, the bus passengers became anxious and began making noises. The bus driver instructed them to calm down and suggested they draw the curtains if they felt uneasy.
The driver exhibited remarkable composure as he endeavored to communicate with the elephant. He addressed the elephant by its name, imploring it to step aside. He was fairly certain that the elephant posed no threat and was merely seeking food. The elephant gazed at the bus momentarily and then started retreating. It’s important to note that this road is exceedingly narrow, and the elephant’s presence caused a standstill in traffic from both directions. On the other side, people can be observed attempting to record videos of the elephant. They had distanced themselves from their vehicles, a perilous situation indeed.
The bus driver established communication, his voice audible in the video, mentioning that he has encountered this elephant on this route more than 80 times, finding the elephant rather affable. He noted that refraining from provoking the elephant would prevent any attacks. Additionally, he mentioned that the elephant recognized his voice and responded to it. After a while, the elephant commenced moving away from the bus. It began heading towards vehicles on the opposite side of the road, eventually pausing midway before venturing back into the jungle.
Throughout this episode, the bus driver continually urged the elephant to vacate the road. Although the driver claimed that the elephant was harmless, the reality is that this particular elephant is known to be aggressive and has attacked people on multiple occasions. This is not the first instance where the elephant has obstructed passage or ventured out of the jungle. Elephants possess considerable intelligence, often venturing out of the jungle in pursuit of sustenance. It’s possible that they have associated humans with food, which could explain their recurrent appearances. Should you ever find yourself in such a predicament, refrain from exiting your vehicle or shouting. Maintaining composure and refraining from honking the horn is advisable, as loud noises can startle the animal, potentially leading to an attack.