The year is 1962 and Tusk the elephant is the star of the Oklahoma Zoo. Although he is popular with everyone, healthy and in his prime, he is sent on an incomprehensible experiment to be carried out by scientists from a nearby university.
In the 1960s, a lot of drugs appeared on the scene. Among the new ones was LSD, which would not be treated as a controlled substance for long. Perhaps the university staff did not even realize the impact this could have on this Indian elephant. However, their task was clear – monitor the effects of this substance on as many animal species as possible.
And so, on August 3, 1962, Tusk was given an injection with a truly horse-sized dose of LSD. They gave him a total of 297 milligrams of this drug. They probably thought that a regular dose wouldn’t be enough for his size. It’s for idea 3000 times larger dose than normal amount intended for humans.
Tusk managed to keep himself on his feet five minutes after the injection. Then he collapsed to the ground. He began breathing shallowly and did not get up even after a resuscitative dose of thorazine. He died after an hour and forty minutes. Why did the scientists inject him with such a large dose of LSD? And why did they even need to know what would happen to an elephant on such drugs?
We probably won’t get answers to that anymore. There is nothing left but to remember this event as the next one shameful chapter of human history that should never be repeated.
A cynical testimony of Tusk’s death
Over time, it was revealed that the attempt was carried out on the orders of the infamous CIA psychiatrist Louis Jolyon West, who was a very ardent praiser of this institution. Tusk described the whole process of painful dying in the following cynical and soulless way:
“Five minutes after we administered the drug, the elephant started honking. Then he collapsed, landed heavily on his right side, emptied his bowels spontaneously, and began to exhibit epileptic-like symptoms. The limbs on the right side of his body went into spasm and stuck stiffly from body, the limbs on the left side were convulsively tossed about. His lids were closed, and beneath them his eyes were wildly moving. His mouth was open, and he was breathing heavily and laboriously. A spasm in his throat seemed to prevent his breathing. He bit his tongue.”
Sources of information:
Tn.cz: The American secret service CIA tortured an elephant. He tested the drug LSD
Historicmysteries.com: Tusko the Elephant: A Strange Way To Go
How former actor idol Tomáš Krejčíř lives today: As an entrepreneur, he managed 130 employees, today he takes care of 100 animals on the farm