Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

Vodka saves two circus elephants from freezing to death


Two circus elephants were saved from an icy death in Siberia by drinking ten litres of vodka diluted in warm water, their trainers claim.

The two animals, aged 45 and 48, were in a trailer that caught fire, forcing them out into the bitter cold to wait for another truck that would take them into the warmth of a local gym.

Trainer Leonid Labo apparently kept spirits high and blood pumping by feeding the elephants vast quantities of life-saving vodka cocktail, though Novosibirsk zoo director claims neither animal became intoxicated.

A veterinarian said later that only the tips of the elephants' ears were frostbitten - but scientists say that despite making humans feel warmer, vodka actually lowers body temperature.