Are Asian Elephants known to get drunk?
#88652. Asked by star_gazer. (Nov 17 07 1:38 PM)
Maybe so and maybe not:|
A herd of elephants that got drunk on rice beer has run amok in a village in Assam in India and killed four people." That’s how a BBC news bulletin sounded few years ago. The locals claimed the elephants had developed a preference for rice beer (sake).
Another theory, popular in Africa, is that elephants get drunk eating fermented marula fruits that have been rotting on the ground for some time. One can read such stories in virtually all African tourist brochures, and they go back in time for more that 150 years as travelers' stories reporting Zulu accounts.
What about the Asian elephants which are assumed to drink rice beer? Although the study doesn't cover the Asian elephants (which are slightly smaller than African ones), the researchers mention how much pure ethanol an elephant should drink to get tipsy: around 2 liters.
But how much sake should one elephant drink to get drunk? Sake has around 20% alcohol, thus one should drink around 10 liters. This is quite a large quantity even for an elephant! Especially that for him to get drunk he should ingest the entire quantity all at once. Otherwise its effects would wear off as quickly as the alcohol was metabolized.
Therefore, it seems that the myth of the Asian drunken elephant is also busted.
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