This Nagarahole jumbo smoked grass, not the intoxicating type, in 2016

No one has, perhaps, seen a smoking elephant. But this one in Nagarahole tiger reserve did so in 2016. A video of the smoking jumbo has now gone viral.

But then, the pachyderm in question was not smoking a cigarette, but grass (not the intoxicating variety though). The elephant is seen spitting out burnt grass, ash and burnt wood it had ingested. The video was shot by Vinay Kumar, assistant director of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).

Kumar recorded the act at around 6.45 am, when he, along with his team, had gone to the tiger reserve to check the cameras installed by WCS to study animal population.

“So far, the short video was part of my recordings. A month ago I was discussing with WCS veterinarian and elephant expert Dr Varun Goswami and I decided to release the video. This particular video had raised many questions among researchers and experts. It had left many wondering as to what could it be,” he said.

In the 40-second video, one can see the elephant, aged around 30-35 years, spit burnt materials, including ash, from her mouth. After a small jerk, she releases the ash, which looks like smoke.

Forest officials are now trying to track the elephant. Some, including retired forest officials, say such an occurrence is not new and that there have been instances in the past where they have seen elephants put burnt wood into their mouth along with ash and then sneeze it all out, making it look like smoking.

No one has, perhaps, seen a smoking elephant. But this one in Nagarahole tiger reserve did so in 2016. A video of the smoking jumbo has now gone viral.

But then, the pachyderm in question was not smoking a cigarette, but grass (not the intoxicating variety though). The elephant is seen spitting out burnt grass, ash and burnt wood it had ingested. The video was shot by Vinay Kumar, assistant director of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).

Kumar recorded the act at around 6.45 am, when he, along with his team, had gone to the tiger reserve to check the cameras installed by WCS to study animal population.

“So far, the short video was part of my recordings. A month ago I was discussing with WCS veterinarian and elephant expert Dr Varun Goswami and I decided to release the video. This particular video had raised many questions among researchers and experts. It had left many wondering as to what could it be,” he said.

In the 40-second video, one can see the elephant, aged around 30-35 years, spit burnt materials, including ash, from her mouth. After a small jerk, she releases the ash, which looks like smoke.

Forest officials are now trying to track the elephant. Some, including retired forest officials, say such an occurrence is not new and that there have been instances in the past where they have seen elephants put burnt wood into their mouth along with ash and then sneeze it all out, making it look like smoking.

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