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Animals Getting Drunk on Fermented Fruit

Man is not the only creature to have accidentally discovered that you can get drunk on fermented fruit.  Here are three humerous videos showing the after effects of eating fermented crabapples, pumpkins and magnolia leaves on squirrels.   And even large animals, like elephants, can get drunk if they eat too many fermented Marula fruits (humans use Marula to make Amarula liqueur) or can become addicted to alcohol, as in the case of the Vervet monkeys on the island of St. Kitts…

Too many fermented crabapples and you start running in place…

 

Too many fermented pumpkins and you just cannot get up the tree in order to get away from the annoying guy with the camera…

 

Too many fermented Magnolia leaves, and staying upright becomes a challenge…

 

Too much fermented Marula fruit, and you’ll be stumbling home to sleep soundly all night.  This would be a much better hunting place for the predators than the watering hole!

 

This excerpt from the BBC explains that the pattern of craving or avoiding alcohol in monkeys is similar to that seen in humans.  The desire for alcohol seems to be largely a genetic trait, determining whether an individual will want to drink every available drop or none at all.  These Vervet monkeys on the island of St. Kitts first learned to enjoy alcohol 300 years ago by eating sugarcane left to ferment in the fields.  Today they raid beach bars in order to satisfy their alcohol and sugar addictions!

 

 

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