In a remarkable event that unfolded in the southwestern Chinese province of Yunnan, two elephants have made headlines around the globe.
Local villagers claim these ‘intoxicated’ elephants helped themselves to a generous 30 liters of corn wine from a grain alcohol store, eventually collapsing in a nearby tea field.
This unusual spectacle occurred in the Menghai county of Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture.
According to villagers, the elephant duo was part of a larger group of 14 that ransacked their alcohol reserves before meandering towards the tea fields.
The images of the seemingly tipsy pair, slumbering off their wine, made their rounds on the Internet after being posted by Zuzou Bingbing Travel Photography on Weibo. The images quickly gained popularity on Twitter, receiving over 140,000 likes.
However, upon seeing the photos, Yunnan officials brought a new perspective to light. They stated that the photos were taken during the previous summer and, contrary to popular belief, featured sober elephants merely taking a break.
Long Yunhai, the Deputy Director of the Menghai Forestry and Grassland Administration, dispelled the rumors of ‘drunken elephants.’ He declared that the elephants were sober and simply resting.
Yunhai emphasized that while it’s true that there had been reports of 14 Asian elephants causing some damage in the villages, it remains uncertain whether they consumed any alcohol.
In a related update, the administration revealed that the herd of elephants had entered the county territory on March 9 and visited two village homes on March 11 and 14.
Local villagers Li Yuncong and Wang Xiangdong reported damage to their corn storage containers, grain alcohol vats, solar panels, windows, and doors. Thankfully, no villagers were harmed during these incidents.
Further clarification came from the forestry authorities in Jiangcheng Hani and Yi Autonomous County, Pu’er.
They confirmed that the incident occurred within their jurisdiction on July 15 of the previous year.
According to their report, a group of elephants was spotted at a tea plantation, where two of them were captured resting via drone footage. The Pu’er officials firmly stated that the elephants were not inebriated.
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