The Coonoor-Mettupalayam road had serpentine queues on Sunday. It was not a regular traffic jam, but a family of elephants enjoying a meal that had holed up the vehicles.
A three-member elephant family disrupted traffic for nearly three hours as they enjoyed jackfruits kept for sale on the roadside.
Nilgiris district Collector, Anandrao Vishnu Patil, who was going to Coimbatore, was also made to wait, till the family finished its ‘lunch’.
The family, comprising a male, female and a calf, appeared from the forest area at Barliar, between Coonoor in Nilgiris district and Mettupalayam in Coimbatore.
Seeing the elephants, traders fled and shopkeepers downed their shutters, fearing for their lives, sources said.
Besides destroying the jackfruits, the calf chased two cars, which tried to move ahead and damaged its boots. In the melee, two motorcycles were also damaged, they said.
The traffic cleared only after the elephants finished their ‘lunch’ around 5 pm.