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Meme elephant Bunmee breaks into house 3 times, history of hijinks

Neill Fronde



FILE PHOTO: Bunmee, the elephant that keeps breaking into a woman's home for food.

You probably don’t know or recognise the name of 58 year old Hua Hin resident Supha, but you know her tragic and/or hilarious plight. The woman nicknamed Pa Yai (translated to English: “Big Aunty”), like many people in Thailand has to deal with the occasional pest in her house, rummaging through her food and making an unintentional mess. For many here, it’s soi dogs that loiter in neighbourhoods, knock over and strew trash bags in hunt of a snack. But for Supha, it’s Bunmee, an internet-meme famous elephant that has picked her house as his favourite snack spot.

Bunmee gained national and then international attention after photos and video went viral of the mischievous elephant breaking a hole in Supha’s kitchen wall and helping himself to some food. Within a day the viral pics became a popular meme in Thailand with even large companies using the photos in ads.

But it didn’t end there. After they repaired the broken kitchen wall, Bunmee returned a month later and broke the same wall for some more snacks. And now, the peckish pachyderm is back, sneaking back into her kitchen for another snack. It turns out Supha is a fried banana vendor, and Bunmee the elephant stopped by her house in Moo Baan Pa La-U to snatch a stash of fried bananas, sugar, oil, and even cleaned out the last of the day’s rice from Supha’s rice cooker.

While the story has been a good laugh for readers here and on social media, it’s an understandable headache for Supha, who is requesting that park officials transfer the rambunctious Bunmee out of Hua Hin.

And it turns out this isn’t the first time Bunmee has turned heads by making trouble and the elephant has a rap sheet that had already prompted requests for transfer from others in the village. In 2019 Bunmee smashed through the front door of a house, knocking out the electrical system, apparently to help himself to a bunch of bananas they had inside while the terrified residents cowered in the corner. He also broke into a convenience store and devoured 10 packs of Lays potato chips.

But even further back in 2018, Bunmee made headlines for blocking traffic for 20 minutes brawling with another male elephant both competing for a female elephant, like a pair of drunken punters on Bangla road. Perhaps Supha could take heart knowing it could have been worse for her poor house.


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Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10 years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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