India is living up to its reputation as an exotic land after a video of a wild elephant blowing out ash from a fire emerged.
The 48-second video, filmed by Vinay Kumar, a scientist belonging to the Wildlife Conservation Society (India), has continued to baffle wildlife experts around the world.
It was reportedly filmed during a work trip to Nagarhole forest in Karnataka state in April 2016, but Kumar said he had not released the video until now because he did not “quite realise its importance”.
Watch the clip below.
THE SMOKING #ELEPHANT! This video taken by our colleague Mr Vinay Kumar, captures a wild Asian Elephant exhibiting incredibly unusual behaviour–ingesting charcoal and blowing out the ashes! He recalls the incredible sighting in detail: https://t.co/cn3ooLBanD @TheWCS pic.twitter.com/DpUyf5w4vA
— WCS-India (@WCSIndia) March 24, 2018
The quite bizarre incident has got scientists across the globe scratching their heads.
“This is the first known video-documentation of a wild elephant exhibiting such behaviour, and this has scientists and experts puzzled,” a statement issued by Wildlife Conservation Society (India) said.
According to Mr Kumar, he spotted the female elephant barely 50m (164ft) away and began filming with his point-and-shoot camera as it “appears to ingest charcoal” left by a controlled fire on the ground and “blow out the ashes”.
“What we saw that day almost appeared as though the elephant was smoking – she would draw up a trunk full of ash close to her mouth and blow it out in a puff of smoke!” Mr Kumar said.
Some scientists have suggested that the elephant was probably attracted to the charcoal for its medicinal value, as some wild animals do.
While it remains unclear why the elephant was billowing smoke, Twitter has already erupted with possible explanations, and some of them are downright insane…
Maybe he just finished having sex. ??♀️
— Tanya ? (@SweetBlueBijou) March 27, 2018
Elephant: What's so baffling about a bucket list?
— C. Conniff ?️?? (@CConniff85) March 27, 2018
they obviously haven't seen the smouldering TRex yet then
— Jude Thaddeus (@PatronSaint2) March 27, 2018
Maybe it's cold outside
— lloyd christmas (@loydchristmas76) March 27, 2018
He knows that beef is off the menu and doesn’t want to be the substitute.
— Sakaphoto Graphics (@sakaphotogrfx) March 27, 2018
This is it. End of the world.
— Alf Jackson (@Capt_MaGoogoo) March 27, 2018
Quick! Get that elephant some weed, then; test it's memory! @ScottAdamsSays
— CyberDurden (@CyberDurden) March 25, 2018