30 May, 2007

Indian motorists complain about 'elephant toll'

Wednesday, the 30th of May 2007. 4:43pm (AEST)

Indian motorists complain about 'elephant toll'

An elephant in eastern India has sparked complaints from motorists who accuse it of blocking traffic and refusing to allow vehicles to pass unless drivers give it food.

The Hindustan Times says the elephant was scouting for food on a highway in the eastern state of Orissa, forcing motorists to roll down their windows and get out of the car.

Local resident Prabodh Mohanty has come across the elephant twice.

"The tusker [an elephant with tusks] then inserts its trunk inside the vehicle and sniffs for food," he said.

"If you are carrying vegetables and bananas inside your vehicle, then it will gulp them and allow you to go."

If a commuter does not wind down his or her window, or resists opening the vehicle door, the elephant stands in front of the car until the driver allows the animal to carry out his routine inspection.

- Reuters

ABC 30-5-7


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