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02 December 2023

Elephant spotted smoking

By Bang

A group of conservationists spotted an elephant smoking large lumps of charcoal and claim it was for medicinal purposes.

A female was spotted by researchers from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) inhaling large lumps of charcoal at Nagahrole National Park in India.

Dr Varun Goswami, a scientist and elephant biologist, said: "I believe the elephant may have been trying to ingest wood charcoal.

"She appeared to be picking up pieces from the forest floor, blowing away the ash that came along with it, and consuming the rest."

Charcoal contains toxin-binding properties, which can be beneficial to the large mammals.

The park situated in the south east of India is home to threatened species such as Asian elephants, Indian bison and tigers.