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  1. #1
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    please can anyone tell me the name of this film, it had elephants monkeys and wart hogs eating from a juniper tree and they got very drunk i did tape it when it was shown in the 80s but my husband taped over it and i cannot remember what it was called would love to get a copy if its available, it had a commentary and was i think quite an old film, i believe from what i can remember that it also had something about flamingos in it as well, i would be very grateful if i could at least find out what it was called.

  2. #2
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    I remember it, don't recall what it was called but think it might have been a Disney production. Elephants can't actually get drunk on fermenting berries (not enough alcohol) so I guess this would have been "staged" by the crew, much as the famous suicidal lemmings were.

  3. #3
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    It was called BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE or ANIMALS ARE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE and was made in South Africa in 1974

  4. #4
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    Hugo's correct about the title. Made by veteran South African film maestro Jamie Uys and shot mostly in South West Africa (now Namibia).



    And yes, Elephants DO get drunk on fermenting berries of the Mopani tree. Ther reason is they eat so many of them (about 300 lbs at a time!!) and the berries are already "heat-activated" so to speak. The sugar content and unusual abundance of natural enzymes speed up the fermentation effect considerably! The berries of the Marula tree produce the same effect. Elephants start to browse the fruit in the early morning (usually around late February to mid April in most locations) and by late afternoon are already staggering around. The effect lasts about 24 hours.



    I've actually witnessed this in South Africa, Botswana, Angola and Tanzania during the 70s and 80s.



    Monkeys eat much less of the berries (obviously!) but they get intoxicated nevertheless because the berries they eat are "over-ripe" and foraged from the ground.

  5. #5
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    I remember seeing this at the cinema....it was supporting something child friendly (Being 10 or 11 at the time...) possibly the Disney animated Robin Hood. The fruit in question was a sort of apricot-yellow.

  6. #6
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  7. #7
    Super Moderator Country: UK batman's Avatar
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    The most amusing bit was watching the monkeys suffering from the most awful hangovers the next day.



    Bats.

  8. #8
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    name='D Cairns']NappieB, you should tell these guys:

    Elephants Drunk in the Wild? Scientists Put the Myth to Rest


    The article seems based on how, because scientists can't work out how it happens, it doesn't happen.....despite 170 years of written evidence and filmic evidence we have seen. Or are they suggesting the filmmakers took tankerloads of Wadworths 6X or equivalent into the jungle in order to get a herd of elephants drunk??

  9. #9
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Is there any connection between this story (true or not) and "elephant's trunk" being cockney rhyming slang for "drunk"? As with most cockney rhyming slang it is then shortened to just "elephant's" as in "I was a bit elephant's last night".



    Steve

  10. #10
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    name='D Cairns']NappieB, you should tell these guys:

    Elephants Drunk in the Wild? Scientists Put the Myth to Rest


    OK. If its not possible for Elephants to get drunk, but eye-witnesses have seen a similar effect upon elephants while they eat the fruit... what is the answer.



    Presuming the film-maker's and eye-witnesses are not lying or stretching the truth... Something other than drunkeness by alcohol is in play.



    We can presume if there was a natural drug in the fruit, we would know of that because the fruit is used for making alcoholic beverages... and such would have an affect beyond normal drunkeness.



    However, different creatures know different effects from chemicals in food. An easy example being red berries that are poisonous to people, get eaten naturally by birds without harming them. What may drug on creature may remain neutral to another.



    The science in the article only examins alcohol. That is the weakness in that research. They should not discount eye-witness accounts on the presumptions that the effects witnessed are due to alcohol. It may be a non-alcohol related effect... and until such is examined, the eye-witnesses need not be doubted - even though the research roundly condemns the presumption that the effect is from alcohol.



    Here are the options as I can see them.

    • The Scientific research is flawed.
    • The Eye-witnesses are lying (photographic evidence appears to rule this out).
    • A non-alcoholic chemical is in play which effects animals and not people.
    • Something other than the fruit is causing the effect - perhaps mildly poisonous lavae within some of the fruit or something picked up with the fruit.
    • It is something to do with the biology of the creatures effected.
    I'm sure there are other options.

  11. #11
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    name='Aaryk Noctivagus']I'm sure there are other options.
    • The elephants are pretending to be drunk just to fool the documentary makers


    Steve

  12. #12
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    It's TOTALLY possible the docu makers just got the elephants sloshed on Gordon's Gin or something: remember the Disney film where they tossed the lemmings over a cliff? There have been numerous such abuses in this history of documentary.



    But if there are lots of witnesses, including boardmembers here (a fastidiously honest bunch) then I'm inclined to believe it must be so. Aaryk offers several convincing explanations of how to square the science with the observation.

  13. #13
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    thanks for the replies, the elephants certainly looked pretty drunk, i cannot imagine how this could have been stage managed, or at least i hate to think how it could have been stage managed, but stranger things have happened, thanks again for the information at least i now know what the film was called, it has driven me mad for years, shadow.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Country: UK DB7's Avatar
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    name='Steve Crook']
    • The elephants are pretending to be drunk just to fool the documentary makers
    Steve


    You've seen that episode of Blackadder where Cpt Darling says "Good luck against those elephants!"



    People can fake allsorts.

  15. #15
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    name='DB7']You've seen that episode of Blackadder where Cpt Darling says "Good luck against those elephants!"



    People can fake allsorts.
    They can, but Bertie Bassett doesn't like it if they do



    Steve

  16. #16
    Senior Member Country: England
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    name='Steve Crook']

    • The elephants are pretending to be drunk just to fool the documentary makers
    Admittedly, I had not considered that option - lol

  17. #17
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    name='D Cairns']NappieB, you should tell these guys:

    Elephants Drunk in the Wild? Scientists Put the Myth to Rest


    Frankly, I wouldn't waste my time telling "these guys". They strike me as being "laboratory scientists" who have never ventured further than the institutes' perimeters!



    I was a myself a research chemist in the early 70s (so there!) before I changed careers in mid-life to become a Chartered Accountant and subsequently a reinsurance broker at Lloyds.



    I first witrnessed the "drunken elephant" and also "drunken warthog" phenomenon in the Satara area of the Kruger National Park in South Africa in 1971.



    I saw it again on a relative's farm in Botswana in 1979 and in Angola the following year (1980) while dodging bullets - never sure whether they were Goverment or UNITA - during one of their laughable "cease-fires".



    And finally on the border of the Serengeti in 1982 whilst in the company of a celebrity who shall remain nameless. She thought the animals were sick, but I explained that, to paraphrase Winston Churchill, ":..they'll be better in the morning!"



    Finally, while conversing with a fellow traveller on the Orient Express (the VSOE) in 1997, he confessed to having witnessed the same display. (OK, that's a "third hand" account!)



    I believe the effect to be caused by "primary fermentation" of the sugar-laden fruits of the Mopani and Marula trees accelerated substantially by the heat and vigorous stimulation of the endemic enzymes.

  18. #18
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    name='NappieB']Frankly, I wouldn't waste my time telling "these guys". They strike me as being "laboratory scientists" who have never ventured further than the institutes' perimeters!
    There are scientists and scientists in the same way that there are film-makers and there is Michael Winner



    I'm always suspicious of a report like that where they neglect to mention which of the many branches of science they study. Are they animal behaviourists, biologists of any other form, chemists, or are they astronomers and metallurgists?



    Then again, it was a report like that "by scientists" which proved that a bumble bee can't fly because its wings are too small for a body that heavy. But luckily the bumble bees can't read so don't know that they can't fly and so they continue to fly in blissful ignorance



    Steve (physicist, electronics engineer and computer scientist)

  19. #19
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    "Heavier than air flying machines are impossible!" - Lord Kelvin, president Royal Society 1895.

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