Vodka was credited for saving a pair of circus elephants temporarily stranded in Siberia.
The elephants were housed in a trailer that caught fire near Novosibirisk, Russia, when their trainers used conventional means to save them from severe frostbite, Emergency ministry spokesman Alexander Davydov told the Associated Press.
Leonid Labo, trainer for the 45- and 48-year old Polish circus elephants, gave the animas 10 liters of vodka diluted in warm water that saved the pair, the Komosomolskaya Pravda newspaper reported, according to the AP.
The elephants suffered frostbite on the tips of their ears, but the vodka was credited with saving the animals from further injury.
Not only did the vodka help prevent the elephants’ health from deteriorating, but the alcohol may have also given them a slight buzz, a Russian official told Russian news agency Ria Novosti, the BBC reported.
"They started roaring like if they were in the jungle! Perhaps, they were happy," the official said.
The circus trainer and the two elephants sought refuge in a local college and were saved when a police escort brought a truck to Siberia.
Rotislav Shilo, director of the Nobosibirisk Zoo, said the vodka was not harmful to the elephants, according to Komosomolskaya Pravda. In fact, the alcohol may have saved their lives, he said, adding that they could have died of hypothermia or pneumonia, according to the BBC.
While the elephants were saved by vodka, humans would have fared worse in such a situation. In humans, alcohol may make a person feel like they are getting warmer but the substance actually lowers their body temperature, the AP reported.