Independent elephant goes shopping

One of the greatest joys of being a pet owner is seeing the product of all those hours spent in training. This can look like your dog being able to fetch a bottle of water from the fridge, your cat using the toilet, or even your elephant going shopping on their own.

Yes, you read that right.

Here’s the story of an independent elephant who was spotted at a fruit stall trying to buy bananas.

More animal stories on The Smart Local, Thailand:

Elephant patiently waits for hawker at empty fruit stand

On 15th January 2022, Facebook user, บดินทร์ จันทศรีคำ, posted a picture of an elephant in front of a fruit stall in Nakhon Nayok.

Image credit: บดินทร์ จันทศรีคำ

The image, which has been shared 2.8K times, is jokingly captioned, “Can I get three bunches of bananas please? And can I use my government subsidy here? Oh, where are you running? Come back and give me my change please.”

At the end of the transcript of the elephant’s thoughts, the owner writes “When Phrai Salika is able to go shopping on their own [training her to be independent].”

If that name sounds familiar, that’s because this is the same elephant that made an appearance at a pork buffet restaurant just last month.

With a story like this, we’d be surprised if Facebook users weren’t sharing the post.

Phrai Salika garners more fame among netizens

As we mentioned earlier, this elephant is no stranger to publicity. So, it’s no surprise that social media users were quick to remark on the elephant’s fame.

Screenshot: บดินทร์ จันทศรีคำ

Translation: You went shopping for just a second, and now everyone in the country knows Phrai Salika. 

As the above user said, all this elephant had to do for fame was go shopping for a couple seconds. Well, it’s not every day that you find a multi-tonne animal trying to buy fruit.


Screenshot: บดินทร์ จันทศรีคำ

Translation: You’re getting super famous!!

One netizen even went as far as to post a picture of the elephant’s handler on TV! Well, we guess he deserves some credit for giving us these adorable stories about Phrai Salika.

However, there was also one Facebook user who was more concerned with the vendor than the elephant.


Screenshot: บดินทร์ จันทศรีคำ

Translation: The vendor probably said, “Please help yourself to whichever bunch you’d like! I’m leaving.” 

Like we said, seeing an elephant at a fruit stand is not normal. So we would probably say the phrase above, verbatim, if we saw Phrai Salika coming over to our stall.

Major respect for the elephant handler

As someone who struggled to teach her dog how to open the fridge door for months, this writer has the utmost respect for Phrai Salika’s owner.

Of course, we admire him for his ability to train Phrai Salika to do amazing things, but also for changing the narrative on handling elephants.

It’s a welcome change to see elephants being trained to enjoy the many things that society has to offer – like mookata and fruit – than to see them in chains. So, props to this owner.

Cover images adapted from (L-R): บดินทร์ จันทศรีคำขุนด่านหมูกระทะบุฟเฟต์

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