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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Drunken elephants n Dumb paris

My colleague Wes forwarded a really funny thing today. Check this out!

I don't know if this is funnier because the elephants are drunk or that it is Paris Hilton who is drawing attention to it.
Courtesy: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/10/23/drunken_elephants/

A herd of 40 Indian elephants which quaffed rice wine, "went berserk" as a result and rampaged round a village looking for food, suffered six fatalities after toppling an electricity pole, the West Australian reports.

According to state wildlife official Sunil Kumar, the drunken pachyderm electrocution incident took place last Friday in Chandan Nukat, a village some 240km west of Meghalaya state's capital Shillong. Kumar said: "There would have been more casualties had the villagers not chased them away."

India's wild elephants evidently have a taste for rice hooch-driven high-voltage suicide. In 2004, four were fried after a similar electricity pole downing in the northeastern Indian state of Meghalaya.
And in 1999, the BBC also reported that a herd of 15 animals "broke into thatched huts in the village of Prjapatibasti" (Assam), made short work of casks of rice beer and ran amok throughout the village, "killing four members of one family and injuring six others".

Paris Hilton's comments

Conservationists have welcomed Paris Hilton's apparent concern for elephants who, tanked up on rice beer, rampage around the Indian countryside with sometimes tragic results.

During the highly-talented heiress's trip last week to Tokyo, she highlighted the pachyderm piss-up problem which recently accounted for six animals in the state of Meghalaya.

To recap, 40 elephants helped themselves to locals' hooch, then attacked an electricity pole, with predictable results.

According to the Guardian, Hilton said: "There would have been more casualties if the villagers hadn't chased them away. And four elephants died in a similar way three years ago. It is just so sad."

She then allegedly, and we can't help feeling immortally, added: "The elephants get drunk all the time. It is becoming really dangerous. We need to stop making alcohol available to them."

We'll leave it to readers to comment on exactly who should be deprived of alcohol on safety grounds, but we should note that Ms Hilton's comments have genuinely been welcomed by conservationists. Sangeeta Goswami, head of People for Animals, endorsed: "I am indeed happy Hilton has taken note of recent incidents of wild elephants in north-east India going berserk after drinking homemade rice beer and getting killed."

He added: "As part of her global elephant campaign, Hilton should, in fact, think of visiting this region literally infested with elephants."

We have no doubt this invitation will cause Hilton a certain amount of soul-searching, while she considers whether to clear her diary for a Rwandan war orphan mercy dash, or a lightning trip to Meghalaya armed with a really big breathalyser.

:)
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