I'd heard of this before. What a horribly cruel and pointless thing to do.he caused Tusko to lose his mind and die
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Conducted by Dr Louis Jolyon "Jolly" West and two colleagues, the experiment took place in 1962 at the University of Oklahoma. West's stated intention was to see whether LSD - yet to hit the streets as a recreational drug - would induce a condition called musth in Tusko. Musth, which occurs naturally in all bull elephants, is a period of heightened testosterone production and high aggression. Why West should have been interested in this is unclear, though he has repeatedly been linked to the CIA's MK Ultra programme, which had been experimenting with LSD on unwitting subjects like Tusko since 1953.
Tusko, "the prize of Oklahoma City Zoo", was injected with 297mg of LSD, an enormous dose even for an elephant, and more than 30 times what a three-tonne human might receive. After five minutes, Tusko trumpeted, fell over, defecated and began shuddering violently; his pupils dilated, his legs became stiff, he bit his tongue and his breathing became laboured.
Twenty minutes later, in an attempt to calm him, a large (again, almost certainly too large) amount of the anti-psychotic Thorazine was injected into the elephant, probably inducing a massive drop in blood pressure and heart palpitations. It didn't help; after another hour West pumped Tusko with a tranquilliser, and a few minutes later he was dead. The whole process took one hour and 40 minutes.