A pack of boozing elephants turned a small Indian village upside down Sunday as they trampled crops and homes in search of a strong local alcoholic beverage called Mahua.
About 50 elephants had been drawn out of the jungle by the smell of the drink, according to the Times of India, and their first stop was a shop that sold the beverage. The elephants made quick work of the shop's supply --18 containers of the drink, made from the nectar-rich flowers of the mahua tree.
Unwilling to let the party end there, the elephants began an aggressive search for more alcohol, raiding three houses near the shop before villagers were able to push them back into the jungle. Forestry officials then tried to get the elephants to cross a nearby river, the Daily Mail notes.
There have been several reported incidents of drunken elephants wreaking havoc in villages throughout the years.
In 2007, six wild elephants had to be electrocuted after they went crazy following a rice beer binge, according to the Associated Press. And in 2010, a herd of 70 inebriated elephants went on a rampage that destroyed villages and left three people dead, Time magazine reports.
While elephants are the largest land animal, the Asian elephant is slightly smaller than its African cousin, according to National Geographic. Asian elephants can be identified by their ears, which are smaller and rounded, while African elephants have years that resemble their namesake's continent.
The mammals, which can live to 60 years of age, are also highly endangered, appearing on the ICN Red List. Between 26,000 and 31,000 elephants live in India today, and their population is decreasing. The biggest threats to the animals are habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation.
The rapidly expanding human population has led to an increase in conflict between villagers and elephants, when elephants eat or trample crops, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of people and elephants.
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