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Natural World

Mystery surrounds 'smoking elephant' in India

March 25, 2018 | Comment icon 11 comments

What is this elephant smoking ? Image Credit: Vinay Kumar / WCS
Unusual footage has emerged showing an elephant attempting to ingest pieces of smouldering charcoal.
The animal in question, which in the video can be seen billowing clouds of ash from its mouth, was picked up recently on a camera trap by conservationists in India's Nagarahole National Park.

"I believe the elephant may have been trying to ingest wood charcoal," said elephant biologist Varun Goswami of the Wildlife Conservation Society's (WCS) India program.
"She appeared to be picking up pieces from the forest floor, blowing away the ash that came along with it, and consuming the rest."

While the behavior may seem unusual, it is not unheard of. Other species, such as colobus monkeys, have been known to eat charcoal, possibly to help counteract toxins in their diet.

Exactly why this particular elephant was doing it however remains unclear.

Source: Live Science | Comments (11)

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #2 Posted by Hawkin 4 years ago
Maybe she likes a Cuban Cigar once in a while. †
Comment icon #3 Posted by Nnicolette 4 years ago
It's that charcoal fad. She's probably trying to whiten her teeth.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Echoes 4 years ago
Fire-breathing elephants? What next!?†
Comment icon #5 Posted by Jon the frog 4 years ago
Really good for the stomach when eating toxic plants, helping digestion and getting rid of tannin, †monkey do it too.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Fila 4 years ago
Yea, I think this may†be the reason why.
Comment icon #7 Posted by qxcontinuum 4 years ago
Humans do it as well. The old fashion pills against bloating were charcoal.† Worked like magic. Amazing though that animals have know cure methods. True sign of intelligence.†
Comment icon #8 Posted by curiouse 4 years ago
Thatís just dust or Ash. Me thinks!
Comment icon #9 Posted by Hankenhunter 4 years ago
My mother's pantry had a quart jar full of charcoal for intestinal troubles. This was in the sixties. I don't know if it was a placebo effect or not, but it sure seem to work for my five brothers and I.† Hank
Comment icon #10 Posted by Matt221 4 years ago
He's rolled a fat one an elephant smoking skunk...
Comment icon #11 Posted by krone 4 years ago
She may be pregnant, pica (consumption of non food items like mud or charcoal) is common in pregnant mammals.

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