By Bilal Kuchay
A bizarre addiction is forcing this elephant to travel two miles to an Indian market to munch on betel leaf treats.
The elephant named as Lakshmi, from Vrindavan Trust in Sagar, India, has been eating betel leaves, locally known as Paan-a sweetened or plain traditional form of digestion treats, from a particular shop for past six years.
Lakshmi goes for her outing every other day and stops at Bheetar Bazar, a small shop selling tobacco and betel leaves and doesn’t budge until the owner feeds her favourite sweet treat to her.
The elephant is a spectacle in the market as she calmly walks straight to the shop with her handler Jameel Khan without creating any troubles to others.
Mr Khan said: “Lakshmi likes to go to the shop every other day.
“She stops by this shop around two miles from the trust and doesn’t leave the place until the shop owner feeds her Paan.”
Mukesh Gupta, the owner of Bheetar Bazar prepares a large sweet Paan for Lakshmi as soon as she approaches the shop.
Gupta, who understands Lakshmi’s taste and choice, says: ” The elephant has been visiting my shop and having paan for the last six years now.
“A mahout brought her to the market once and almost all the shopkeepers in the market fed her whatever they could.
“When Lakshmi came to my shop, I fed her betel leaves. I think the elephant liked it.
“That is how this story began and continues till now. The elephant visits other shops only after having paan from my shop.”
As Gupta feeds the elephant, many people in the video can be seen touching its feet and taking blessings.
“It makes me feel very happy that the elephant visits my shop and enjoys the Paan. It has made my small shop a hit in the town.” he added.