15 Dec 2012

Elephants saved by vodka and warm water

1:06 pm on 15 December 2012

Two circus elephants have been saved from the cold in Siberia by drinking vodka.

Russian officials said the animals needed treatment after a wooden trailer they were travelling in caught fire in the Novosibirsk region.

The elephants, aged 45 and 48, had frostbite to the tips of their ears amid temperatures of -40C.

But they were reportedly warmed by two cases of vodka mixed with warm water.

"They started roaring like if they were in the jungle! Perhaps, they were happy," an official told the Ria Novosti news agency.

The animals continued their recovery in a heated garage of a college where they were taken by a truck under police escort.

The BBC says the elephants reportedly belong to a Polish circus, which was touring the region.