Five wild elephants ended up at the dam at the beginning of the month. The dam is only one kilometre away from Cardamom House. It may be the drought that forced them to go in search of water, or it maybe that their habitat has been destroyed by increased development.
Elephants are very sensitive to human presence. They are also strong and can break through metal fences and trample houses and crops. Eventually they were driven up into the hills by people drumming.
More wild life is being seen in the area. A few years ago a leopard was sighted at the Cave Temple. More recently, we have heard barking deer on the hillside at the back of the house. Wild boar have dug up crops on our farm.
The proximity of wild elephants caused some concerns for Chris, Pandi and Kumar, that night. They decided to lock the main gate in case the elephants decided to go for a swim. Chris slept in the main house on the grounds that he would hear them if they decided to come up the steps. Kumar slept in the kitchen because he thought that an elephant would get wedged in the door wide. Pandi slept in the office, because an elephant would find it difficult to get in, under the archway. They have also survived to tell their tale!
NB The elephant shown here is a temple elephant, spotted in Madurai.