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Would an Elephant Walk a Mile for a Camel?

June 01, 2018

Many of you may not be old enough to remember the historical advertising slogan of Camel cigarettes which represented the brand for many years. We would guess that the message was based upon the premise, whereas other cigarettes might be more easily obtained, a Camel cigarette warranted a mile hike. If you had to walk a mile for each cigarette, one’s lungs would soon give away and the smoking habit extinguished.

Most of you would also say that it is a well-known fact that elephants do not smoke. On the other hand, Hugh Tomlinson, the Asian Journalist for The Times newspaper, recently came across a video that seems to disprove that basic premise. Wildlife experts were puzzled by a video that surfaced two years after it was acquired showing a wild Indian elephant exhaling a cloud of ash it had picked up from a fire.

The author recalls as a young lad firing up grapevine twigs to have a smoke if that serves as a precedent. Unfortunately, that practice ultimately led to the Camel cigarette habit without the mile walks. Long ago, the smoking addiction was proven to be life threatening and abandoned by many of us mortals though occasionally Mongolian vodka and a dear friend from Denver in the Mongol studies program would blur those health realities. Names have been withheld to protect the guilty from the wrath of their respective families.

The video was shot in the Nagarhole forest in the southern state of Karnataka, India two years ago by Vinay Kumar, a scientist with the Wildlife Conservation Society. It appears to be the first known evidence of an elephant exhibiting this form of behavior. Most anyone would think the wild elephant shown below is enjoying her smoke following a good meal of jungle grass or a hot date.

However, Vinay Kumar said the female elephant was examining a patch of ground from a controlled fire in the forest. The elephant would draw up a trunk full of ash close to her mouth and blow it out in a puff of smoke. His colleague, Varun Goswami, an elephant biologist, said elephants are known to eat charcoal and blow out the excess ash.   As charcoal has well-recognized toxin removal properties, perhaps that is the reason wild animals are attracted to it for medicinal purposes. In another chapter in the past, several other brands of cigarettes actually had charcoal filters though they made no contribution to reducing the irrefutable health risks of smoking.

As elephants are quite intelligent animals, there is no way they would “Walk a mile for a Camel” since they would recognize the risk of smoking and avoid it at all costs. In that respect, they are far more intelligent than a large number of human inhabitants of this earth.

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Each of the different ethnic hill tribes in Thailand have their own language,
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Yao Childs Hat
Yao Childs Hat
Akha Childs Hat
Yao Childs Hat
Yao Childs Hat
 Chinese Tribal Childs Hat

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