In China, as in the UK, people are avoiding social situations to avoid the spread of deadly coronavirus pandemic.
As a result, a group of some 14 elephants who live in China’s Yunan province hadn’t seen any people in some time.
Used to being fed by humans, they set off to find out what was going on. They broke into a nearby village’s corn store and ended up drinking 30kg of corn wine.
Naturally enough, they needed a little lie down after that and fell asleep in a nearby tea garden.
While the strength of the corn wine is not known, a 1984 study determined that elephants get drunk with a blood-alcohol content of around 0.05-0.1g to 100ml.
That means a three-tonne elephant would have to consume around 10 litres of alcohol (at 7% ABV) to achieve true tipsiness..
Conservationist Parveen Kaswan pointed out that elephants are partial to a drink, seeking out extra ripe fruits with alcohol in them and places where people make moonshine.
He said on Twitter: “Some are surprised on knowing that elephants like alcohol. They like it a lot. Even Mahua fruits & ripened pineapple, jackfruit.
“They dig the locations where tribals [sic] store that country-made liquor. [As] this is time of Handiya, in tribal belts you will see many selling them.”
Elephants are rare these days in China.
While once they ranged across the whole country, today there are not more than 250 wild elephants to be found in the whole of China.