A few weeks ago, a Bornean orangutan named Ozon was caught on camera while smoking a cigarette at Indonesia's Bandung Zoo and that triggered several questions among the animal welfare society. But now scientists are confused after seeing a video of an elephant at Nagarahole National Park in India to exhale a large cloud of smoke.
Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), shared the video on YouTube. It showed that a female elephant picked up something while roaming around the forest area and put it in her mouth. After few seconds she was seen to exhale a large amount of smoke.
A WCS India scientist, Varun Goswami, who is also an elephant biologist said that the animal might have taken the wooden charcoal inside her mouth. He mentioned that the elephant appeared to have picked up the pieces of charcoal from the forest floor and blown it away from the ash and then consumed the rest.
The Telegraph reported that the officials as explaining that the consumption of the wooden charcoal could "serve as a laxative, thereby doubling its utility for animals that consume it after forest fires, lightning strikes, or controlled burns," and it may benefit animals by providing medicinal values as well.
The incident took place at Nagarahole National Park, which is also known as Rajiv Gandhi National Park, located in the southern Indian state Karnataka. This forest area was backed by Brahamagiri Mountains and the park is part of Nilgiri Biosphere.
The forest which is the home of Asian elephants, tigers and different species of birds, is actually spread over an area of about 642.4 square km. India is the home of 50 to 60 percent Asian wild elephants. In India, elephants are closely related to religion and considered part of the cultural heritage.