Drunk Elephants Go on Rampage in India

It appears the impact of consuming alcohol goes beyond humans. In northeastern India, elephants broke into earthenware vessels containing a fermented rice based drink made by remote villagers, and proceeded to get drunk. Over a four day rampage, a herd of 70 elephants killed three people and destroyed 60 homes in several villages in the states of Orissa and West Bengal.

The villagers had stockpiled the alcoholic beverage for an upcoming festival, and the elephants found it. The interaction between man and beast has become more frequent as villagers encroach on traditional elephant grazing grounds. The pachyderms have become semi-urbanized, no longer avoiding contact with humans and actively seeking out tastier foods found in villages.

During the latest incident, the elephants staggered around while intoxicated, causing mayhem and damage. They were found later sleeping off their hangovers. Elephants kill about 400 people are killed each year in India and destroy 2.5 million acres of farmland. Approximately 100 elephants are killed.

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