By Steve Robson
Conservationists believe the group are now "clean" of drugs - but how did they become junkies in the first place?
Four elephants who were addicted to HEROIN are now "clean" thanks to a drug-treatment programme, conservationists say.
The group have had to go cold turkey at an elephant breeding centre in south west China but are now ready to rejoin elephant society.
Campaigners say cruel drug dealers use turned the elephants into junkies by feeding them bananas laced with heroin.
The tactic makes the wild animals much easier to control as they are desperate for the next fix.
Chinese Triads then use the elephants to smuggle drugs in huge quantities across the China-Myanmar border.
Chen Jiming, of the local Asian elephant breeding centre that has been working to help the elephants kick the habit, said: "It has been a long battle but we can safely say that they are now reintegrated into elephant society and in some cases even have families of their own."
He added "There are actually more elephants now in the wild since China made it a crime punishable by death to hunt them.
"But we haven't increased the penalties for people who turn them into drug addicts by feeding them heroin laced bananas. This is also an important issue that needs to be tackled."
He said that they had been allowed to use methadone to give the elephants as a substitute for heroin and had slowly reduced the amount given over the course of a year until they were declared clean.
He said: "The elephants need at least five times more that a human being would need at the start and then we slowly reduced that until they no longer needed it.
"But it is every bit as hard for the elephants to go through the cold turkey regime as it is for humans."
After going clean, the four elephants now live in the forests of Yunnan Province in south-western China which is not only a protected area but is also home to another 250 wild Asiatic elephants.
The elephants which had been carrying drugs were seized by police on different occasions, with the first reported incident of a banana-drugged elephant in in 2005.
They were almost uncontrollable once they started to come off the drug, said keepers.
Conservationists adopted the same method to wean the elephants off the drug as is used with humans because until then they had no experience in treating elephant drug addiction.