Vodka for Elephants?

Siberian trainer says beverage saved animals

Caty Enders

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A Russian zoo director is claiming that circus trainers were able to save their elephants from the brutal Siberian cold by giving them vodka. Trainer Leonid Labo was forced to lead his animals out into sub-zero temperatures after their trailer caught fire. To fortify them, he had the animals, aged 45 and 48, drink 10 liters (2.6 gallons) of vodka mixed with warm water. “They started roaring like if they were in the jungle! Perhaps, they were happy,” a local official told Russia’s Ria Novosti news agency. A veterinarian insisted that only the tips of their ears were frostbitten. Local Novosibirsk zoo director maintains that the animals should have died of hypothermia. Scientists say that, although alcohol may make humans feel warmer, it actually lowers core body temperature.


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