One of the most human things in the world is to drink alcohol. Only humans would be silly enough to consume some poison in order to enjoy the strange impact it has on our minds and bodies. Yet when you take a closer look at nature it is clear to see that a variety of species from the animal kingdom like to partake in the occasional libation. Let’s take a look at some of the most amazing examples of animals getting drunk in the wild. Together let’s look at the world of bats, birds, monkeys, and even bees. It appears that nearly every animal in nature is a fan of some alcohol.
The American bat
Bats from Central and South America have been seen eating fermented fruits and nectar on a regular basis. Yet studies show that they seem to be able to handle their alcohol as they rarely show any signs of being drunk. Studies have actually allowed bats to consume large quantities of the fermented fruit and then got them to go through a maze. During the study, the bats had a blood alcohol level of 0.3% which is far higher than the maximum (0.08%) people are allowed to drive with. The bats had no issue using the maze and navigated it simply. Their use of echolocation also remained unaffected. Interestingly though the Egpyitan bat, which is the same type of bat but based in Egypt, struggled massively after eating a little fruit. Scientists believe that this is because the American bats have built up a tolerance to these fruits through their evolution while the Egyptian bat has not.
The drunken bees
If bees drink too much-fermented nectar they will get drunk. This happens quite often and results in poor flying and accidents in the hive. It actually happens so often that the intelligent bees have a system in place to overcome it. If a bee successfully makes it back to the hive the other bees will block them from entering the hive because they know they might do damage. The bees may aggressively fight other bees to keep them out of the hive and will stop them from flying away until they sober up. It sounds almost like bees have their own police system in place.
The waxwing bird
There are a number of birds that also feast on fermented berries. The Bohemian Waxwing bird is the most famous example but it happens to a large variety of birds during wintertime. This is because the weather cools and the berries ferment more easily. While most birds know when to stop many go too far and there have been numerous reports of drunk birds getting into accidents. In 2014 it seemed particularly bad as the numbers of birds involved in accidents were a record high due to a particularly cold winter.
The monkeys of St. Kitts
In all the above examples the animals were getting drunk based on natural means. It was the way nature intended. However on the Caribbean island of St. Kitts there are some wild monkeys who are becoming alcoholics. They go to the tourist beaches and when tourists look away they steal their alcoholic drinks.
Clearly, this is not what anyone wants to see, and while it is humorous to read about drunken bees, birds, and bats. Drunken monkeys that are the result of human behavior is far more sad than funny. We must be careful that the fun we have does not have a detrimental impact on the nature that we share this world with. However, the ones that get drunk of their own accord, those we can laugh at.