According to the villagers living near Shilipada cashew forest, all the elephants, including nine tuskers, six females and nine calves were sleeping near the place where mahua flowers were kept in pots.
Elephants Drink Country Liquor
Villagers who had gone inside a forest in Odisha’s Keonjhar district to prepare a traditional liquor called ‘mahua’, were in for a shock when they noticed a herd of 24 elephants lying on the ground in deep sleep after consuming country-made liquor.
According to the villagers living near the Shilipada cashew forest, all the jumbos that included nine tuskers, six females, and nine calves were sleeping near the place where mahua flowers were kept in water in large pots for fermentation. It was found that all the pots were broken and the fermented water missing.
“We went into the jungle at around 6 am to prepare mahua and found that all the pots were broken and the fermented water is missing. We also found that the elephants were sleeping. They consumed the fermented water and got drunk,” said a villager Naria Sethi, according to PTI.
The flowers of the Mahua tree (Madhuca longifolia) are fermented to make an alcoholic drink also called Mahua. Tribal men and women in various parts of India traditionally make this liquor.
Eventually, the villagers tried to wake the elephants but failed after which they informed the forest department.
“That liquor was unprocessed. We tried to wake up the animals but failed. The forest department was then informed,” said Sethi.
On receiving the news, forest department officials reached the spot under the Patana forest range and beat drums to wake the elephants. The herd finally woke up and went deep inside the forest, said Ghasiram Patra, the forest ranger, according to PTI.
Forest department officials said they weren’t sure whether the elephants consumed the country-made liquor or were merely in deep sleep.
However, the villagers pressed that they spotted the elephants sleeping in drunken conditions at various places close to the broken pots on Tuesday.