Asian elephants, which are estimated to be fewer than 50,000 in the wild, inhabit grasslands and forest habitats across countries in southern Asia. In China, however, reports show that there are only 250 elephants left as they face the looming threat of local extinction. But, out of all the facts about them, some people might be surprised to know that these animals are fond of alcohol.
|Credits: Live Science|
Recently, a photo of inebriated elephants from Wunnan, China went viral, garnering mixed reactions from people. Parveen Kaswan, a conservationist and an Indian Forest Service officer, stated that the elephants were raiding crops but instead, they found the wine and drank them. They were discovered lying curled up back to back on a dirt bed amid the greenery and drained vats of corn wine.
“In tribal belts, people hide country-made alcohol but somehow elephants find it. They mark the houses also where they found that last time. If they see drunk people they get irritated also since it was not shared with them,” Kaswan said.
|Credits: India Today|
In a Twitter thread, Kaswan explained that elephants have an affinity for alcohol and seek it out. They often mark spots so they can successfully return to them. "While humans carry out social distancing, a group of 14 elephants broke into a village in Yunan province, looking for corn and other food. They ended up drinking 30kg of corn wine and got so drunk that they fell asleep in a nearby tea garden," the user wrote in their post.
|Credits: Daily Mail|
However, this kind of activity is normal for elephants. According to Live Science, a science news website that features groundbreaking developments in science, space, technology, health, the environment, our culture and history, anecdotes have long suggested that African elephants regularly become drunk on fermented marula fruit. A 2006 study published in the journal Physiological and Biochemical Zoology showed that a normal-sized elephant would have to consume 400 times the amount of fruit in its normal diet and not drink any water for the alcohol to make it intoxicated.