Russian Emergency ministry spokesman Alexander Davydov announced that the animals were in a trailer that caught fire and had to be evacuated into the sub-zero temperatures.
Trainers waited with the elephants until a truck arrived to take them to a gym at a local community college for warmth.
Russian newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda reports that trainer Leonid Labo gave the animals ten litres (2.6 gallons) of vodka diluted with warm water.
Novosibisk zoo director Rostislav Shilo told the newspaper that the vodka saved the animals from frostbite and pneumonia, but did not make them drunk.
A veterinarian commented that only the tips of the 45 and 48-year-old elephants' ears were frostbitten.
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