Viral social media posts claimed that a group of elephants raided a village in China after which they got drunk off corn wine, and passed out in a tea garden.
At a time when our social media feeds are filled with awful news about Coronavirus death tolls and the lack of toilet paper on supermarket shelves, a certain uplifting and hilarious story cropped up on the Internet a few days ago. In a story shared by multiple people across social media, it was claimed that a group of 14 elephants went onto a corn farm in Yunnan, a province in southwest China, and got drunk off the corn wine and passed out in a nearby tea garden. The perfect story brightened all our moods and lit up our faces in these dark times. Only now, it has been proven that the story is not entirely true. You heard that right!
Images the world needs right now. Elephants are the best! https://t.co/kuJ4uZ49In— Jasmin Bauomy (@jasminbauomy) March 19, 2020
This week, a bunch of news about animals returning to deserted, quarantined places went viral on Twitter. Dolphins and swans in Venice; elephants getting drunk in a Chinese village.— Natasha Daly (@natashaldaly) March 20, 2020
The stories, although happy, weren’t true! My story on the phenomenon: https://t.co/sB58a82wnd
Debunking the story, Alyx Gorman, the lifestyle editor of Guardian Australia, tweeted, "It makes me very sad that this story about drunken elephants raiding a wine store is definitely not true." There is no concrete evidence as to where the drunken elephant photos originally came from, but a Chinese news report calling out the viral posts, said, "While elephants did recently come through a village in Yunnan Province, China, their presence isn’t out of the norm, they aren’t the elephants in the viral photos, and they didn’t get drunk and pass out in a tea field," reported Nat Geo. Nat Geo also debunked the viral story on dolphins and swans making an appearance in Venice canals thanks to decreased human activity.
It makes me very sad that this story about drunken elephants raiding a wine store is definitely not true. https://t.co/bQReDWdD5g— Alyx Gorman (@AlyxG) March 19, 2020
“While elephants did recently come through a village in Yunnan Province, China, their presence isn’t out of the norm, they aren’t the elephants in the viral photos, and they didn’t get drunk and pass out in a tea field.” Via @JaneLytv https://t.co/BxIckU4Z7K— HoaxEye (@hoaxeye) March 21, 2020
However, the internet absolutely loved the story when it was shared. Since it was first uploaded, the post has gone viral, receiving over 132,000 upvotes and over 1,700 comments. Reddit users weighed in with their thoughts. One user wondered what the elephants' hangovers would feel like if they actually had one. They commented, "Can you imagine how pissed off they will be the next day with a massive hangover? Several tons of very angry pachyderm not knowing what Advil is." To this, another user hilariously responded, "They're elephants, they can just sleep it off. It's not like they have elephant jobs the next day or elephant neighbors mowing their elephant grass."
One Reddit user joked, "An elephant never forgets... Unless they get fuckin wasted on 30 kilograms of corn wine." One user wondered if they were okay (as most reasonable people should). A Redditor replied with some elephant wisdom, "I looked around to see if there was an article about this, but couldn't [find one]. However, [I] did discover that this isn't the first time elephants have broken in someplace to get liquor. They have a strong affinity for booze and when they can smell it they track it down." If only humans had that superpower! While this story might be fake, nonetheless, the idea of happy, drunk elephants is exactly what we need right now to fight off this global health crisis.