Video of elephant smoking in forest baffles experts

NewsflarePublished: March 26, 2018567 views
Published: March 26, 2018

A video of an elephant peacefully puffing out large clouds of smoke has baffled experts world over.

The video shot at Nagarahole National Park in South India shows the elephant exhaling a large amount of smoke after picking up something from the ground and putting it in its mouth.

The extremely rare video was shot by Vinay Kumar, Assistant Director at Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) India, during a field trip to check the camera-traps in the park, which monitor the population of tigers.

The WCS team entered a partially burnt patch of the moist deciduous forests and suddenly came face to face with a female elephant standing calmly on the side of the road and ‘smoking’.

“It almost appeared as though the elephant was smoking – she would draw up a trunk full of ash close to her mouth and blow it out in a puff of smoke,’’ says Vinay Kumar.

The elephant appeared to be picking up something from the burnt forest floor and eating it after blowing away the ash.

“I had never witnessed before, and it has probably not been commonly captured on film earlier either,” says Kumar.

A note from WCS India says charcoal, which has well recognised toxin-binding properties, may attract wild animals due to its medicinal value.

Charcoal can also serve as a laxative, thereby doubling its utility for animals that consume it after forest fires, lightning strikes, or controlled burns, adds the note.

The WCS team shot the video on April 4, 2016, but made it public only recently on March 23, 2018.

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