In Canada, a group of clearly drunk raccoons was spotted in a suburb by passersby, who captured footage of their amusingly strange behavior. But can animals actually get drunk? Here's what happened.
Residents of Stittsville, a quiet suburb of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada were treated to a nice surprise a few days ago. They witnessed raccoons, who are usually nocturnal creatures, behaving erratically. "He couldn't really move," Emily Rodgers, a witness, told CBC News. "He was dragging his legs, he was wobbling, having a hard time standing up. You could tell something was wrong with him for sure."
The day before that, Julie Fong, another resident of Stittsville, had called the police, because a raccoon appeared to be "drunk" in his garden. "He seemed to be sleeping to get his hangover," she says. "It was sort of stumbling along, just looking completely off as sort of somebody who may have had a few extra libations would be walking along as.”
What actually happened?
According to experts, these omnivorous mammals likely ate fermented fruits. It is not uncommon for animals to get drunk from eating berries, which contain alcohol when they are fermented.
And raccoons aren't the only animals who like to party! Scientists have found that some bird species also consume alcohol. When they do, they behave strangely, crashing into windows or cars.
According to Don Moore, deputy director at the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington, DC, animals under the influence of fermented fruit may look "asleep". He added that it's a particularly common phenomenon in places where apples are grown.