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Footage of elephant snacking on litter left by tourists sparks concern online: 'I don't think animals should be eating any amount of plastic'

"When are we going to learn?"

"When are we going to learn?"

Photo Credit: Reddit

Elephants are some of the most majestic creatures on earth. These incredibly intelligent mammals are widely admired and cherished by us humans. And yet, sometimes, they are disrespected. 

A Redditor shared a video with r/awfuleverything of an elephant playing with and then chewing on a plastic bag, which they say was left behind by a tourist. 

"There goes your plastic bag you used to pack your [chapati] for your journey," the video is captioned, referring to the traditional Indian flatbread. "When are we going to learn? He doesn't know it's going to kill him soon!" 

In the video, the elephant starts by swinging the plastic bag from side to side with their trunk. Then, they stick the plastic bag in their mouth and begin to eat it.  

The video is disturbing to watch because it shows how disrespectful people can be of our Earth and the animals that inhabit it.

The privilege of spending time with wildlife should come with understanding, appreciation, and respect, not reckless endangerment. Watching these kinds of events creates undue stress for other bystanders trying to gain quality time with nature, affecting the experience and creating a less harmonious relationship between us and the natural world. 

Additionally, Asian elephant populations and some African elephant populations are already in decline, according to the World Wildlife Fund. There is no excuse for further jeopardizing the survival of this animal. 

Redditors in the comments section of the post discussed what would happen to the elephant if the plastic bag was ingested. 

"Regardless of whether or not the bag will harm the elephant," one person commented, "I [don't] think animals should be eating any amount of plastic."

"I don't think people should dump their plastic anywhere except a trash bin," agreed another.

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