Cannabis for Elephants Is a Surprising Anti-Stress Method Used by This Zoo in Warsaw

This experiment set up by the Polish zoo's veterinary team seeks to lower the stress level of elephants.

Elephants on drugs, who could have ever thought of such a thing?

Stressed elephants

Last March, the captive elephants at the Warsaw Zoo lost their oldest female, Erna. This was a big upheaval for the pachyderms, causing their stress levels to rise. The zoo then decided to try out a new experiment by administering cannabis to the three elephants in the zoological garden. More precisely they administered cannabidiol, or CBD.

According to veterinarian Agnieszka Czujkowska, head of the program, this is above all a question of finding a natural alternative to the drugs usually used to fight against stress. CBD does not have a euphoric effect, and it is not dangerous for the liver and kidneys, nor does it lead to addiction.

A few drops of CBD

The experiment should last between a year and a half and two years. If the results prove conclusive on elephants, the use of the CBD could be extended to other animals in the zoo. For the moment, only the female Fryderka is benefiting from the treatment: about ten drops of CBD oil two to three times a day.

‘Contrary to what some people think, the elephants will not receive cannabis by smoke inhalation,’ Agnieszka Czujkowska reassures. According to the first tests, the female Fryderka tasted the first drops of CBD ‘and she didn't say no.’

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