Remembering Tusko the Elephant, Given Largest-Ever Dose of LSD

Remembering Tusko the Elephant, Given Largest-Ever Dose of LSD

Guinness World Records, the definitive list of world records for both human accomplishments and extreme conditions in nature, recently published a tribute to science for Taxo, the elephant who was tragically given extreme doses of LSD.

LSD research began in the 1950s and 1960s, with studies ranging from mind control to animal communication conducted on animals such as dolphins and cats. In the early 1960s, a team of researchers had the brilliant idea of ​​giving hormonal bull elephants large doses of LSD, but lo and behold, the results were tragic.

Tasco was a male Indian elephant at the Oklahoma City Zoo in Oklahoma. Tasco was a victim of poor animal treatment and did not survive the experiment.

However, before Tasco meets his tragic end, spot In Guinness World Records. Other notable cases of large doses of LSD include a case study of accidental ingestion in September 2015. The woman took 55 mg of LSD – 550 times the normal dose, or approximately 25 μg to 150 μg. However, the animal was given 3,000 times the normal amount of LSD.

Within an hour and a half, the elephant died after being administered several doses of barbiturates to stop it from moving.


Starting on August 3, 1962 (some say 1963), researchers injected elephants. Researchers injected Tasco with about 300 mg of LSD.

Dr. West and Dr. Pierce attempted to put Taxco into the following condition. “mast”, the surge of aggressive hormones that male elephants receive causes them to secrete a sticky fluid between their ears. Testosterone levels in elephants are increased to 60 times the normal level, which is critical for elephant reproduction.

“He was shot in the right buttock with a dart gun,” wrote Guinness World Records author Sanji Atwal. “Mr. Tasco was injected with 297 milligrams of the hallucinogen LSD. This is nearly 3,000 times the normal human recreational dose and remains the largest single dose of LSD ever administered.”

This ingenious plan was developed by two ambitious psychiatrists, Dr. Louis Jolyon West and Dr. Chester M. Pierce, and Warren Thomas, then director of the Oklahoma City Zoo. The experiment came amid a surge in mind control experiments by government agencies.

That's when things took a turn for the worst.

Five minutes after the injection, Tasco trumpeted once, collapsed and defecated.

Then he suffered a severe seizure. His eyes rolled back and closed, his legs went stiff, he bit his tongue and had difficulty breathing. It didn't take long for the elephant to die.

“Given that the human dose is about 25 [μg], it is no surprise to hear that Tasco once trumpeted and ran around the enclosure before suffering a full-body paralysis attack,” Atwal continues. “He was given a large dose of the antipsychotic promazine hydrochloride, followed by the barbiturate pentobarbitol sodium, but died 80 minutes later, the victim of the largest single dose of LSD ever administered. It became.”

Also in the 60s, there were experiments by John C. Lilly that were funded by NASA. Injecting dolphins with LSD. And in 1977, Researchers give cats LSD.

“Dr. West was, simply put, an evil scientist,” Atwal writes. “He is a documented experimenter in Project MK Ultra, an illegal human experimentation program designed by the CIA to identify ways to brainwash, psychologically torture, and force confessions from people during interrogation.”

Government-involved LSD experiments

Starting in 1953, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) conducted Project MK Ultra, a human drug experiment using hallucinogens aimed at developing procedures and identifying drugs that could be used during interrogations to coerce confessions. has been launched. The CIA attempted to develop a more effective truth-telling agent.

“These methods included sensory deprivation, hypnosis, isolation, sexual abuse, secret administration of psychotropic drugs, and various other forms of torture,” Atwal wrote. “One of the most famous experiments Dr. West oversaw took place in his 1959 attempt to break radio DJ Peter Tripp's record for the longest time awake. Tripp went without sleep for eight days and nine hours.As a result, his mental state temporarily deteriorated into what doctors termed “nocturnal psychosis.” ”

Soon after, animals began to be involved in drug experiments.

After the Taxco experiment, West went on to work for the CIA, Guinness World Records reproduces. Also in 1963, he was appointed psychiatrist to Jack Ruby, who murdered Lee Harvey Oswald two days after Oswald allegedly assassinated President John F. Kennedy.

West suggested interrogating Ruby under the influence of sodium thiopental and hypnosis to get the real story.

Meanwhile, Pierce went on to become the founding president of the American Association of Black Psychiatrists and frequently spoke out about racism in the United States, even coining the term “microaggressions.”

It's a fitting end to a disturbing experiment that sacrificed a rare Indian elephant.

Updated on January 3 for clarity.

David B.
David B. stands out as an exceptional cannabis writer, skillfully navigating the intricate world of cannabis culture and industry. His insightful and well-researched articles provide a nuanced perspective on various aspects, from the therapeutic benefits to the evolving legal landscape. David's writing reflects a deep understanding of the plant's history, its diverse strains, and the ever-changing dynamics within the cannabis community. What sets him apart is his ability to break down complex topics into digestible pieces, making the information accessible to both seasoned enthusiasts and newcomers alike. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for the subject, David B. emerges as a reliable and engaging voice in the realm of cannabis literature.

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