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Dublin: 13 °C Wednesday 16 April, 2014

Elephants survive a stay in Siberia… thanks to two cases of vodka

Something to bear in mind the next time you find yourself on a circus tour abandoned in wintry Russia.

Image: Carlos Caetano via Shutterstock

TWO CIRCUS ELEPHANTS survived a fire in their circus convoy – which left them without a trailer as their tour travelled through frozen Siberia – by guzzling vodka.

The elephants were part of a Polish circus troupe which was travelling through Siberia when their trailer caught fire and needed to be evacuated.

The fire left the Indian elephants Jenny and Magda without shelter – and at risk of frostbite and other injures, leading handlers to try and courage them to run around the burning truck in order to keep warm.

As it became evident that this would not be enough to keep the pachyderms sufficiently heated, though, a quick-thinking handler had a brainwave – and sped to a nearby village where he bought two cases of vodka.

Reuters, citing Russian news agency RIA Novosti, reports that this was mixed with warm water and fed to the elephants – who “roared as if they were in the jungle,” an official said.

“Apparently they were happy,” he added.

The animals were then brought to the gym of a nearby school warm, and escaped with only some small frostbite on their trunks and noses.

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