Close banner

Support Outside Online

Love Outside?

Help fund our award-winning journalism with a contribution today.

Contribute to Outside

Vodka for Elephants?

Siberian trainer says beverage saved animals

A Russian zoo director is claiming that circus trainers were able to save their elephants from the brutal Siberian cold by giving them vodka. Trainer Leonid Labo was forced to lead his animals out into sub-zero temperatures after their trailer caught fire. To fortify them, he had the animals, aged 45 and 48, drink 10 liters (2.6 gallons) of vodka mixed with warm water. "They started roaring like if they were in the jungle! Perhaps, they were happy," a local official told Russia's Ria Novosti news agency. A veterinarian insisted that only the tips of their ears were frostbitten. Local Novosibirsk zoo director maintains that the animals should have died of hypothermia. Scientists say that, although alcohol may make humans feel warmer, it actually lowers core body temperature.


Support Outside Online

Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. In recent years, Outside Online has reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. Our rigorous coverage helps spark important debates about wellness and travel and adventure, and it provides readers an accessible gateway to new outdoor passions. Time outside is essential—and we can help you make the most of it. Making a financial contribution to Outside Online only takes a few minutes and will ensure we can continue supplying the trailblazing, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. We hope you’ll support us. Thank you.

Contribute to Outside
Filed To: News