Animals getting high, drunk and tripping
February 3, 2015 11:33 AM   Subscribe

 
They also do embarrasing things when tipsy, see drunken moose caught in tree.
posted by peppermind at 11:39 AM on February 3, 2015 [4 favorites]


And that's why birds do it, bees do it
Even educated fleas do it...
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:42 AM on February 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


Drunk squirrel!
posted by sunset in snow country at 11:43 AM on February 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


I know my cat can smell weed all the way from downstairs. And he really seems to want some.
posted by General Tonic at 11:47 AM on February 3, 2015


Heh.

Years ago I was watching the movie Mumford and came across this bit of dialogue:

"Did you know that every species of mammal has found some way to drug inebriate or anesthetize itself? Even if it’s just banging it’s head against a rock. Seems to be some natural urge to get away for a while."

And I thought "that seems like a bit of screenplay fiction." But I've wondered, ever since, how much truth there might be to it.
posted by weston at 11:56 AM on February 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


In college I let my friend's ferret drink a capful of MD 20/20 and we blew some bong hits at it. He kept crawling my pant leg for the rest of the night.
posted by jonmc at 11:58 AM on February 3, 2015


Let's try to keep this from our noble police forces lest the 'War on Animal Drugs' begins.

"Come out of that nest with your paws up. Not gonna tell you again!"

"I don't think the squirrel speaks English, sir."

"SWAT GO!"
posted by umberto at 12:02 PM on February 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


Friend had a cat that was very old and sick and one of the concessions was constant access to as many catnip toys as she wanted so she spent in later years in a state of writhing drool.
posted by The Whelk at 12:06 PM on February 3, 2015 [5 favorites]


One of my dogs, Maeby, is a boozehound. She was an adult when I met her so I don't know this started, and I'm not much of a beer drinker so her opportunities had been limited. I became aware of Maeby's relationship with beer last summer at a baseball game. Every Tuesday home game for our local minor-league team is dog-friendly, so one evening I chucked the dogs in the car and went to see a game. On my way out, I ran into some friends who had also brought their dogs. I sat down to chat with them, and a few minutes later I heard *slurp slurp*. Maeby had her entire head in my friend's stadium cup and was drinking as fast as she could.

Who has two dewclaws and likes to drink other peoples' beer? Maeby does!
posted by workerant at 12:16 PM on February 3, 2015 [7 favorites]


First link: Elephants and other animals who look very drunk after eating fermented marula fruit.

Third-last link:
And the oft-heard tales of elephants getting sloshed off the fermented fruit of marula trees in South Africa’s Kruger National Park? Pure fiction. Physiologist Steve Morris of the University of Bristol in England calculates that, based on elephant size and metabolism, along with the alcohol content in fermenting marulas, an average elephant would have to eat more than 700 individual fruits to get looped.
I wonder what the resolution to this contradiction is.
posted by clawsoon at 12:16 PM on February 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


One of the enduring memories of my childhood is seeing a longhorn beetle land on top of my father's beer can and drink the traces of beer left in the little channel circling the top. It couldn't fly afterwards, and staggered across the table as we watched.
posted by telophase at 12:23 PM on February 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


I wonder what the resolution to this contradiction is.

Aspirational drunkenness? Like that scene in Freaks and Geeks when the kids are drinking non-alcoholic beer but they think it's the real stuff?
posted by Doleful Creature at 12:24 PM on February 3, 2015 [4 favorites]


Have you ever really looked at your paw?
posted by gimonca at 12:37 PM on February 3, 2015 [17 favorites]


I wonder what the resolution to this contradiction is.

Creative editing on the part of the filmmakers.

Really, the only evidence you see that the animals are "drunk" is that they're stumbling. And if you put a camera on a bunch of animals long enough you'll get plenty of footage of them stumbling without having to introduce alcohol - a BBC documentary on penguins got so much of it that they made a penguin fail blooper reel. All they'd have had to do to imply the penguins were drunk is put in some comic music and show shots of them eating or drinking something first.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:42 PM on February 3, 2015 [5 favorites]


a penguin fail blooper reel

Music was OK, but it should have been set to the Emperor concerto, obviously.
posted by Wolfdog at 12:46 PM on February 3, 2015


Thanks for the link, EmpresCallipygos. It led me to this video of a caracara stealing a camera disguised as a penguin egg and filming the colony from the air. (The turkey vultures chasing the eggcam at 1:30 made my day.)
posted by telophase at 12:49 PM on February 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


I read this as "animals getting high, getting drunk and tipping", and started wondering what gratuity-like process existed in nature. "Animals are amazing!" I thought. "First with the tool-using, now it turns out that they...tip each other?" But they don't. I suppose no one likes to work Sunday brunch down at the bird feeder.
posted by Frowner at 12:57 PM on February 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


Heh.

The irony is, I don't mean to use that as proof that animals DON'T get drunk or stoned or whatever. One piece of footage that I don't have, and wish I did, is footage of my cat Zach trying to walk around for the first half hour or so after I brought him home following minor dental surgery. (I was freaked out enough at his woozy gait that I called the vet, and they laughingly had to explain that "no, your cat's not having neurological problems, he's just STONED.")

I think I just remembered that footage from "Animals Are Beautiful People" from when I first saw it as a kid; now that I'm older I'm catching "wow, did they manipulate the footage on this one."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:58 PM on February 3, 2015


I also used to have an alcoholic dog. Beer, liquor, whatever. She once chewed the metal cap and seal off a bottle of liquor* that was left on the floor for 20 minutes and drank half of it. That's when you know you have a problem folks, when you chew the caps off.

*Luckily it was Bailey's and not something really high in alcohol.
posted by fshgrl at 1:09 PM on February 3, 2015 [4 favorites]


The Fly Agaric video reminds me of a much better article on the Psychedelic Secrets of Santa Claus that I like to share with everyone on Christmas.
posted by daHIFI at 1:23 PM on February 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


General Tonic: I know my cat can smell weed all the way from downstairs. And he really seems to want some.
I have heard that blowing weed smoke into a cat's ear while it reposes supinated in your arms will lead to it unfurling like a fern. Probably from some ex-friend who is cruel enough to get a cat higher than Tommy Chong. Certainly not me.

(They like it.)
posted by IAmBroom at 1:26 PM on February 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


The Fly Agaric video reminds me of a much better article on the Psychedelic Secrets of Santa Claus that I like to share with everyone on Christmas.

David Tennant talked about Fly Agaric when he was a guest on a Christmas episode of the British show QI - and then further claimed that people would collect the reindeer urine and drink it for a mellower sort of high.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:35 PM on February 3, 2015


That "how catnip gets cats high" video was very cute, but disappointingly short on explication. See also Catnip:Egress to Oblivion.
posted by exogenous at 1:35 PM on February 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


There was a rowan tree with berries right next to windows in a house I once owned. Late in the year, the berries would ferment, birds would ingest them, and then fly drunkenly into the windows. Stunned, the poor things would drop to the ground and lie there until they sobered up.
posted by Cranberry at 1:48 PM on February 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


Dude.... Wait. What?
posted by clvrmnky at 2:03 PM on February 3, 2015


I seem to recall that deliberately setting out fermented berries for the birds was one of the shenanigans that Bugs Meany's Tigers got up to.
posted by Wolfdog at 2:04 PM on February 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


I read somewhere that Koalas are stoned most of the time. Their diet is primarily leaves of the Eucalyptus, which supposedly contain a drug. Wikipedia says Koalas spend 20 hours a day asleep, and maybe that's why.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 2:07 PM on February 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


A former neighbor had a very sweet St Bernard and apple trees in their yard. Though none of our dogs have ever eaten the rotten apples, their St Bernard would do so at every chance, and then stumble around happily. She was giant and even dopier than usual when drunk, so we couldn't help but laugh.

They finally took to walking the dog on a leash in the Fall, which was probably kinder.
posted by ldthomps at 2:09 PM on February 3, 2015 [3 favorites]


Reportedly, Silver Vine is even more effective in cats than catnip.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 2:10 PM on February 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


I wonder what the resolution to this contradiction is.

Lack of faith and imagination on the Scientific American writer's part? Elephant : marula :: human : grape, more or less. I bet lots of people would eat 700 grapes if it'd get you wasted.
posted by hoist with his own pet aardvark at 2:20 PM on February 3, 2015


Well, and also elephants are pretty much always eating, at least according to the people at the elephant sanctuary I visited a while back. I wouldn't be surprised at all if elephants really could eat 750 whateverfruits at a go.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 2:54 PM on February 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


I bet lots of people would eat 700 grapes if it'd get you wasted.

Also cf., chewing qat. You have to chew soooooooooo much of the stuff ... and it's so bitter and disgusting ... the barrier to entry was just too steep for me. Bless my Yemeni friends, but all I got out of the experience was a sore jaw and the most horrible chlorophyllic paste ground into my teeth.
posted by mykescipark at 2:56 PM on February 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


My girlfriend's rats all loved to share a drink with me from time to time, just a little taste. They were good drinking pals. Now our cats just write around on the bathroom floor after we've bleached.
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:38 PM on February 3, 2015


This sort of thing can really mess with your dopple, especially if you can only afford an old baboon.
posted by Appropriate Username at 3:54 PM on February 3, 2015 [4 favorites]




Reportedly, Silver Vine is even more effective in cats than catnip.

Not being a cat, I can't speak to the effectiveness in how much higher it gets cats than catnip but my four all prefer silvervine over catnip. The effect is more of a lasting active high: this cat, for example, is the most sessile blimp of a cat who can't be bothered to chase a laser pointer dot but a silvervine twig will send her in to crazy amounts of sustained play. Unlike catnip, there isn't a post-exposure/saturation resting period, so the silvervine has to be put away in-between sessions and in an airtight container in a latched cabinet otherwise they will claw open the cabinet to retrieve their twigs.

Silvervine, not even once.
posted by jamaro at 4:12 PM on February 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


I read somewhere that Koalas are stoned most of the time.

It's true, and it's a major issue that the koala school system is struggling mightily with. Or would be, if they could be bothered.
posted by Wolfdog at 4:38 PM on February 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


Many years ago my wife had a conure (small parrot) which would ride on her shoulder and sample her food. Whenever she was drinking alcohol she would still let him taste, with the warning that he wouldn't like it -- because he didn't, and would always spit it out.

Then one day the drink was Irish Mist, and after an intrigued mutter he swallowed it. Hilarity ensued.
posted by localroger at 4:39 PM on February 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


recently my cat has had near orgasms over the smell of vanilla-scented trash bags, right hand to God
posted by angrycat at 4:39 PM on February 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


FYI, that footage of drunken African animals on Marula was done by filmakers injecting the for with ethanol. Grossly unethical if you ask me.
posted by smoke at 5:18 PM on February 3, 2015


smoke, any cite on that?
posted by nickyskye at 5:41 PM on February 3, 2015


I've wondered, ever since, how much truth there might be to it.

weston, if you'd be interested in reading more, it's sort of the central thesis in a little book by Dr Andrew Weil, "The Natural Mind". Wrote it before he became a health guru but never distanced himself from it.
posted by yoHighness at 6:23 PM on February 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


Ran into the "Why animals eat psychoactive plants" post a while back and thought that the most interesting thing were the examples of animals not injesting psychoactive substances routinely, but knew enough about the effects to engage in drug seeking/taking behaviour when they were psychologically distressed.

I'd imagine that drug use in nature, red in tooth and claw, would typically negatively impact fitness. The corollary is that animals do experience psychological distress and seek pharmacological escape and "damned if I get eaten, I just need to zonk out for a while."
posted by porpoise at 6:25 PM on February 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


here and here. there's tonnes more out there is you google, it's been comprehensively busted.
posted by smoke at 6:41 PM on February 3, 2015


My friend's cat wasn't dealing with getting old so well, so I bought him a dank ounce ($8 shipped!) of prime Montana 'nip from a open as hell source, because it's catnip.

Old cat loved it. Loooooooved it. He knew it was from me, and was all over me every time I came over.

I was on a conversational level with my mailman at the time and when he delivered the sketchy as hell cardboard box he asked me face to face, "Dude, are you buying pot online?" "Haha, no. Seriously, primo catnip. Feline Acapulco Gold." So I open it up in front of him, and he laughs his ass off. It says CAT DRUGS on the cardboard bit at the top.

I gave him some seeds for xmas with his gift. Here's hoping the sun is still shining on you, Lorenzo.

posted by Sphinx at 7:08 PM on February 3, 2015 [4 favorites]


Whoa, massive slam on anteaters baboons!

But now I know where that footage came from. Thanks!
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 7:27 PM on February 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


He kept crawling my pant leg for the rest of the night.

We had ferrets.

I can tell you this is just ferrets ferreting.
posted by curious nu at 7:37 PM on February 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


smoke, it sounds like the elephants are getting intoxicated on something. Maybe beetle pupae in the marula tree? If one googles elephants drunk beetle pupae, that seems to be it.

In the second link you listed it says, " Unregulated behavior of elephants in the field and as featured in Zulu accounts may be due to an intoxicant other than alcohol. For example, the bark of marula is home to beetle pupae traditionally used by the San people to poison their arrow tips... and large doses may cause overt effects."
posted by nickyskye at 8:28 PM on February 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


Stunned, the poor things would drop to the ground and lie there until they sobered up.

Or until they got eaten by a cat, presumably.
posted by e1c at 12:41 PM on February 4, 2015


My girlfriend's rats all loved to share a drink with me from time to time, just a little taste. They were good drinking pals. Now our cats just write around on the bathroom floor after we've bleached.

I'm thinking there might be a couple typos in this post but then again I kind of hope not. (Writing around with what? Their pee?)
posted by e1c at 12:44 PM on February 4, 2015


Tipsy as HELL!
posted by mon-ma-tron at 6:58 PM on February 4, 2015


Wolfdog: "I seem to recall that deliberately setting out fermented berries for the birds was one of the shenanigans that Bugs Meany's Tigers got up to."

The Case of the Apple Cider.
posted by Lexica at 4:34 PM on February 7, 2015


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