The Great "Booze-for-Elephants" Zoo Ruse

By Bryan Le 05/15/12

Zookeepers hoodwinked their managers for 20 years, claiming that their horny elephants needed booze to stay calm.

drunk elephant_0.jpg
This shouldn't happen, according to
veterinary experts.
Photo via

Pakistani zookeepers ordered booze "for their elephants," telling management that it helped soothe randy and aggressive elephants during mating season. If you just thought “Really???” then you already asked more questions than the management at Islamabad's Marghazar Zoo, who regularly paid for huge amounts of locally-made liquor (up to $880 USD, which isn't exactly peanuts) as part of the food supply for the peppy pachyderms. And this went on for 20 years. The keepers even claimed that the elephants could go buck wild, destroying property and killing people, if management didn't keep a steady stream of alcohol coming. Of course, the keepers were just taking the booze for themselves and drinking on the zoo's dime. Veterinary experts say that elephants actually shouldn't drink alcohol, as it probably wouldn't calm them down at all—in fact, drunk elephants have been known to embark on murderous rampages. The same keepers were also responsible for 22-year-old Saheli, an elephant gifted from Sri Lanka, dying a premature death. They have since been suspended.

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Bryan Le grew up in the 90's, so the Internet is practically his third parent. This combined with a love for journalism led him to The Fix. When he isn't fulfilling his duties as Editorial Coordinator, he's obsessing over fancy keyboards he can't justify buying. Find Bryan on LinkedIn or Twitter