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Drunken Indian elephants take on electricity pole

Result? Fried pachyderm

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A herd of 40 Indian elephants which quaffed rice wine, "went berserk" as a result and rampaged round a village looking for food, suffered six fatalities after toppling an electricity pole, the West Australian reports.

According to state wildlife official Sunil Kumar, the drunken pachyderm electrocution incident took place last Friday in Chandan Nukat, a village some 240km west of Meghalaya state's capital Shillong. Kumar said: "There would have been more casualties had the villagers not chased them away."

India's wild elephants evidently have a taste for rice hooch-driven high-voltage suicide. In 2004, four were fried after a similar electricity pole downing in the northeastern Indian state of Meghalaya.

And in 1999, the BBC also reported that a herd of 15 animals "broke into thatched huts in the village of Prjapatibasti" (Assam), made short work of casks of rice beer and ran amok throughout the village, "killing four members of one family and injuring six others". ®

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