‘Imaginary Elephants’: the sculptures created by a 17th-century artist who had never seen an elephant.

We are in Japan. The Tōshōgu Shrine complex of Nikkō is popular for its architectural and sculptural beauty, including the Three Wise Monkeys and the “Sleeping Cat”. Another among its hundreds of sculptures is commonly referred to as “Sōzō-no-Zō”, literally the “Imaginary Elephants.” The sculpture is located on the gable of the Kamijinko (Upper Sacred Storehouse or God’s Storehouse), where a pair of strange-looking animals grin with crescent-shaped eyes. The sculpture on the left is green and white, while the other is black and both are complete with golden tusks.…

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Indlovu, the premium Gin made from distilled elephant dung

It’s hard to believe that elephant dung could be the main ingredient of a booze, but that’s absolutely true: South African gin Indlovu is made with botanicals harvested from the pachyderm poop. Paula and Les Ansley, both former professors in different fields of biology, decided to moved from the UK to South Africa after retiring, and they found a way to contribute to conservation efforts in the region to support the local community. Neither of them had any idea that elephant dung would play such a big part in their…

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War Pigs: the defense weapon against Elephant attacks

It’s known that in ancient times man used animals in warfare: horses, elephants, monkeys and even Rhinos were used in the battlefields. As well as beeing turned into weapons, they have been used as transportation for soldiers and equipment. But who would believe that even pigs were used as a war weapon? War pigs are pigs reported to have been used in ancient warfare as military animals, used by ancient armies as military weapons, mainly to face the huge war elephants. In the first century BC, Lucretius reported that some…

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