One elephant prefers the plush surroundings of a luxury hotel and resort over his natural habitat.
A video recently surfaced of a wild elephant roaming through the Jetwing Yala hotel in Sri Lanka. In the clip, the animal is making rounds through the lobby. It doesn't seem like this happened at peak business hours because the area is basically empty except for the people taping the encounter.
There's a reason why the elephant walked in like he owned the place. According to TMZ, the full-grown Asian bull elephant was named Natta Kota by the locals. Natta Kota started off as a frequent guest at the hotel and first made his way into the building in 2013. Since then, he's taken a liking to the luxury resort.
Initially, the five-star hotel wasn't his only crib. When he was young he was just a seasonal guest. He also used to raid every hotel in the area for their fruit and other foods. But now that he's older, Natta Kota decided to settle down and make Jetwing his permanent residence.
"In the initial years, Natta Kota was a seasonal visitor, appearing for a few months of the year before disappearing once more into the bush. During this period, he paid frequent visits to other resorts along the beach stretch as well," a Jetwing spokesperson explained to BBC. "A few years ago, he took up permanent residence at Jetwing where he is allowed to be at peace. Natta Kota spends his days sleeping in the shade of the scrubs and taking walks along the hotel’s footpaths."
Since making the hotel his home, staffers have taken it upon themselves to remind visitors that they are a guest in his house. As a result, they urge people to respect Natta Kota's space as he is still a wild animal despite being acclimated to people. Guests also need to watch out for his "mischievous moments" since he's known to snag snacks.