Voices from Russia

Friday, 14 December 2012

Elephants Stranded in Siberia Saved by Vodka

00 cartoon elephant. 14.12.12


What do you do if you’re stuck with two elephants on a Siberian highway, your elephant-transporting truck is burning, and the pachyderms are freezing in -40 degrees weather {-40 degrees Fahrenheit… the only place where the Celsius and Fahrenheit scales coincide: editor}? The correct answer is that you make them jog and give them vodka. A local official said that the problems started when the two Indian elephants, owed by a travelling Polish circus, were enroute from Novokuznetsk to Omsk in Novosibirsk Oblast late Thursday. The hay in the truck caught fire from the diesel generator heating the cargo section, where the elephants were. The truck had to be stopped and the elephants promptly released. They escaped the fire unharmed, but were left stranded on a Siberian highway in winter.

The handler made the animals jog so that they didn’t freeze. Meanwhile, the local authorities were alerted, and the animals moved into a heated garage nearby. As an added precaution, the elephants were served two cases of vodka mixed with warm water. The official told RIA-Novosti, “They roared like it was the jungle… they must’ve been happy”. A spokeswoman for the Omsk city circus said that the animals only suffered minor frostbite to their legs and tips of their ears, nothing that’d disrupt their performance schedule. Their handler was admitted to hospital, also with frostbite.

14 December 2012





14 December 2012. Sergei Yolkin’s World. The Elephants Didn’t Do it for Fun; They Did it to Prevent Freezing to Death

00 Sergei Yolkin. The Elephants Didn’t Do it for Fun; They Did it to Prevent Freezing to Death. 2012

The Elephants Didn’t Do it for Fun; They Did it to Prevent Freezing to Death

Sergei Yolkin



For them not in the know, -40 is the only time where the Celsius and Fahrenheit scales intersect.


Two elephants were dumped into the 40-degree frost (-40 degrees Fahrenheit) after the truck carrying them caught fire. To warm the animals, their trainer plied them with two cases of vodka mixed with warm water.

14 December 2012

Sergei Yolkin



Editor’s Note:

RIA-Novosti gets a Big Green Weenie Award on this one. In the Russian version (which I used), Yolkin portrayed the elephants with “red” trunks… the English version lacked this vital visual clue to drunkenness. Yolkin was making a visual “play” here and the ham-fisted English editor removed it, destroying the fun of the cartoon. The red trunks were a cue that these elephants were nothing but two drunks full of the usual “vodka wisdom”…  and the editor removed them! They must be related to somebody with blat… that’d explain why RIA would keep on such a klutz.


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