BEIJING, China (AP) -- Chinese state media say an Asian elephant that became addicted to heroin at the hands of illegal traders will return home after a three-year rehab program.
Xiguang, a 4-year-old male Asian elephant, became addicted after he was captured by smugglers along the Chinese-Myanmar border in March 2005. The official Xinhua News Agency says the traders fed the elephant bananas laced with heroin as bait and to pacify the creature.
When Xiguang was found two months later along with six other captured elephants in China's southwest, he was suffering from withdrawal and was sent to a protection center in China's tropical Hainan island.
Xinhua said Thursday that Xiguang received daily methadone injections in doses five times larger than those given to a human and had fully recovered.
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