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Is Every Single Elephant a Village-Wrecking Booze Hound?

•, Eli MacKinnon
 A few representative samples from the news reports on the latest incident: "Herd of Elephants Go on Drunken Rampage After Mammoth Booze Up," and, of course, "Trunk and Disorderly!"
Those headlines refer to an elephant bender that reportedly took place in India's Dumurkota village on Sunday (Nov. 4), and if it's never occurred to you before, the idea they convey is arresting — gigantic, angry drunks with tusks. But destructive, town-smashing alcoholism has apparently afflicted Indian pachyderms since at least the 90s. In 2010, there was "Elephants on Drunken Rampage Kill 3 People;" in 2004, "6 Drunk Elephants Electrocute Themselves;" and in 1999, the understated, but seminal, BBC headline: "Drunken Elephants Trample Village."
The Times of India tells the latest tale this way: "… a herd of 50-odd inebriated jumbos ransacked three houses and damaged paddy crops on Sunday. The strong smell of mahua drink drew the elephants out of the forest, and they raided the shop selling the drink. The herd wasn't happy, even after guzzling down 18 containers of mahua, and ransacked the adjoining huts in search of more."

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