- Recently released footage of an elephant exhaling smoke has left many scratching their heads
- The video of the elephant was captured in 2016 but was released to public just recently
- The elephant in the video can be seen picking things from the forest floor with its trunk while releasing smoke
A video of an elephant in Nagarahole National Park in India which appeared to exhale a large cloud of smoke has left scientists in confusion.
The clip shared on YouTube by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) showed the elephant picking up something from the forest floor and exhaling a large amount of smoke.
The WCS field staff were visiting camera-trap areas in the national park as part of a long-term project to study tigers and their preys when they came upon the elephant displaying unusual behavior.
On the video, the elephant can be seen picking up ash with its trunk, closing its mouth and blowing it back out in a cloud of smoke.
In a statement released by the conservation, the elephant was trying to ingest wood charcoal which she had picked from the forest floor.
“I believe the elephant may have been trying to ingest wood charcoal,” said Varun Goswami, WCS India scientist and elephant biologist.
“She appeared to be picking up pieces from the forest floor, blowing away the ash that came along with it, and consuming the rest.” he added.
According to the WCS, the elephant may have been using the charcoal for health-related issues, as it has toxin-binding properties that can provide medicinal value and also be a laxative, making it doubly effective.
“It can also serve as a laxative, thereby doubling its utility for animals that consume it after forest fires, lightning strikes, or controlled burns," Goswami said.
Though the startling video was shot by Vinay Kumar, Assistant Director of Conservation Support and Policy at the Wildlife Conservation Society - India, in April 2016, it was shared with the public only three days ago.
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