Four elephants in China were turned into heroin addicts by drug smugglers, who then used them to transport large amounts of heroin across the border.
According to the rescuers, the elephants were fed with bananas laced with heroin by the smugglers until they became addicted to the drug, which made it easier for them to make the huge animals carry their drugs across the China-Myanmar (Burma) border.
The way it worked: The addicted elephants become restless and desperate for some bananas. The smugglers instruct them to carry their wares across the border to get rewarded with the bananas. The addicted elephants do as they are told and get their fix when the job is done.
This continued until the smugglers got caught and the elephants moved to Wild Elephant Valley in Yunnan Province. There, keepers noticed that some of the animals were restless and aggressive.
This prompted the staff to run some tests … and that was when it was discovered that four of them had heroin in their system.
The elephants were then given methadone treatment for up to one year … and now they are clean.
Chen Jiming is an elephant keeper who helped the animals kick their addiction. He said the animals have been reunited with their fellow elephants in the province’s protected forests.