Do Animals Get Drunk?

I come from a non-drinking family, so I don’t know what it’s like to be drunk.  But apparently humans aren’t the only ones who come under the influence of behavior-altering drugs.

There is a column in the October 24, 2016 issue of Time magazine (page 8) that gives four examples of under-the-influence animals.

— Recently a flock of starlings began flying into trucks and cars on a Austrian highway.  They were drunk on fermented berries.

— In 2009, a group of wallabies was found eating opium poppies in Australia, which were being (legally) grown for medicine.  They were described as “high as a kite” and hopping in circles.

— Jaguars in the Amazon have been know to eat the hallucinogenic yage vine (used to make the psychoactive drug ayahuasca), then act like they were on catnip.

— Big-horn sheep in the Canadian Rockies eat psychoactive lichen, even leaving their herd to get more, which is very unusual.  The lichen reportedly makes them “loony”.

So we’re not the only species with drug problems.


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