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24 elephants get 'drunk', sleep for hours in Odisha forest after consuming mahua, claim villagers

24 elephants get 'drunk', sleep for hours in Odisha forest after consuming mahua, claim villagers

24 elephants get 'drunk', sleep for hours in Odisha forest after consuming mahua, claim villagers
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By CNBCTV18.com Nov 11, 2022 2:19 PM IST (Published)

Forest official had to beat drums to wake the elephants.

About two dozen elephants fell asleep for hours in a forest in Odisha on Tuesday after reportedly consuming water fermented with ‘mahua’ flowers. These flowers are used to make traditional country liquor. The villagers living near Shilipada cashew forest in Keonjhar district claim they saw the elephants sleeping and noticed that their pots of mahua flowers soaked in water were broken.

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The villagers had kept the mahua flowers in large pots of water for fermentation. To their surprise, they found that the herd of elephants had consumed the fermented water with the intoxicating flowers and were in deep sleep.
"We went into the jungle at around 6 am to prepare mahua and found that all the pots were broken, and the fermented water was missing. We also found that the elephants were sleeping. They consumed the fermented water and got drunk. That liquor was unprocessed. We tried to wake up the animals but failed," a villager told PTI.
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Forest department officials of Keonjhar were taken aback when they received the information. The unconscious lot of elephants couldn't be lifted up or carried on vehicles since each of them weighed over a tonne.
Hence, officials decided to beat drums to wake the sleeping elephants. The effort was a success as the herd woke up and made their way further deep into the Patana forest range, the PTI report said.
Forest officials are not sure whether the elephants got drunk after consuming fermented mahua or they were just resting. However, the villagers insisted that they saw the elephants sleeping in an intoxicated condition next to the broken pots of mahua water.
The flowers of mahua tree (Madhuca longifolia) are traditionally fermented to produce an alcoholic drink of the same name. Tribal men and women in various parts of India ferment, consume and sell this liquor.
 
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