The gin’s name is Indlovu, which means elephant in the Nguni regional language of South Africa. The main ingredients are extracted from dried elephant dung. This drink is basically made by soaking dried elephant dung in hot water to take in its taste. The taste is what is then blended into the typical African gin-gin.
Les Ansley, owner of the Indovlu gin drink business, says elephants are a good breed source for gin. The factory, which is located in Paarl, South Africa, is growing because it utilizes animal dung.
“Elephants digest very little food, they are good fermenters. Their intestines are not as long as a cow’s intestine. The process of digesting their food is very fast. The bacteria content in their intestines is low, and their stomach does not absorb much food. Elephants are also selective animals in choosing food. They can choose the best leaves, fruits, flowers and plants.”
So, what does it taste like? A bartender named Johanna Jones replied, ‘”Very refreshing, very citrusy. As I mentioned earlier, the taste is very earthy, very down to earth. That’s what makes this gin so different.”
Indlovu exports 1,500 bottles a month to countries in Europe, Asia and the United States. About 15 percent of the profits go to elephant conservation efforts in South Africa.
Environmental experts say elephants living in the jungles and savannas of Africa are increasingly threatened with extinction. Conservationists are stepping up calls for an immediate halt to hunting and habitat destruction.
A recent assessment by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) categorized two elephant species found in Africa as “critically endangered” and “threatened with extinction”.
The IUCN cites data showing the population of African savanna elephants found in various habitats has fallen by at least 60 percent over the past 50 years. Meanwhile, the number of forest elephants found mostly in Central Africa has fallen by 86 percent over the past 31 years. Combined, there are currently only about 415,000 elephants left in Africa. [ab/uh]