Mar 23, 2018 | Updated: 09:54 AM EDT

'Smoke-breathing' elephant stumps scientists

While visiting camera-trap locations as part of a long-term project to study tigers and their prey populations in Nagaharole National Park in India, WCS scientists and colleagues came upon an elephant displaying unusual behavior. "I believe the elephant may have been trying to ingest wood charcoal," said Dr. Varun Goswami, WCS India scientist and elephant biologist. Charcoal has toxin-binding properties that may provide the animals medicinal value. Charcoal can also serve as a laxative, thereby doubling its utility for animals that consume it after forest fires, lightning strikes, or controlled burns.



Real Time Analytics