MOSCOW (Reuters) - Two circus elephants drank vodka to help them survive when their trailer caught fire in freezing Siberia, RIA news agency said.
A quick-thinking handler resorted to the traditional Russian cure for all ills buying two cases of vodka from a nearvillage, diluting it with warm water and serving it to Indian elephants Jenny and Magda, it said.
He had become desperate after realizing that making them run round the broken truck was not enough to prevent them freezing to death before a new trailer arrived to complete their journey. RIA quoted a local official as saying the vodka had helped them survive.
"After that they roared as if they were in the jungle! Apparently they were happy," he said.
Jenny and Magda, touring the region with a Polish circus, were then taken to a local school gym with little more than frostbite on their ears and trunks.
They reached their final destination in the Siberian city of Omsk on Friday and began rehearsing for circus performances over Christmas and the New Year.
(Reporting Elizabeth Shockman; Writing Alissa de Carbonnel; Editing Stephen Powell)