Category: Society / December 17, 2012 1:26 PM EST
A pair of circus elephants being transported across Siberia in minus 41 degree Celcius weather, were saved by Russian vodka when their truck broke down on the road.
The elephants - Jenny and Magda from a Polish circus - were travelling across Russia from Japan when their trailer caught fire on the road. Their handlers were able to save them from the fire, but, in the process, exposed them to dangerously low temperatures.
In an effort to keep the giant mammals warm, the circus workers made elephants run in circles around the broken truck. When it became clear that's not enough, the handlers purchased two cases of vodka from a nearby village, diluted vodka with warm water and forced elephants to drink that cocktail to stay warm.
The vodka, according to a local zoo director, saved the Polish elephants from pneumonia without hurting or intoxicating them.
Jenny and Magda, both in their late 40s, were soon after taken to a local school gym, where it was discovered that they survived their ordeal with little more than frostbite on their ears and trunks.
On Friday (December 14) they made it to their final destination in the Siberian city of Omsk where they started rehearsing for circus performances over Christmas and the New Year.