OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU) - Video captured by the Wildlife Conservation Society's India Program appears to show an elephant blowing smoke. Scientists are left in a cloud of confusion.
Vinay Kumar, assistant director with the WCS India Porgram, took the video in the Nagarahole National Park. Dr. Varun Goswami, WCS India Scientist and Elephant Biologist, believes the elephant was munching on 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,” Goswami said.
After forest fires, lightning strikes or controlled burns, charcoal may benefit animals by providing medicinal value and can also act as a laxative.