Drunk Grizzlies Keep Getting Hit By Trains In Montana
November 20, 2023 4:35 AM   Subscribe

Getting “drunk” on fermented grain has killed dozens of grizzly bears along a treacherous stretch of rail line near Glacier National Park, Montana. Many of them likely died during a “drunken attempt” to outrun the trains, a Wyoming bear expert said. Grain spilled from railcars along the tracks can be a tempting treat for bears, retired federal ecologist Chuck Neal of Cody told Cowboy State Daily. With enough moisture from snow and rain, “the spilled grain actually ferments in place and becomes a de facto brewery,” he said.

Asleep On The Tracks

As for the Glacier Park bears, not enough is being done to protect them from getting hit by trains, Neal said.

And being intoxicated on fermented grains just makes things all the worse for the grizzlies.

Bears that are attracted to the fermented grain “might fall asleep right on site if they get drunk first. They can, and have, fallen asleep in a drunken stupor right on the tracks,” Neal said.

“Other times they loiter on the tracks until a train approaches, at high speed, then drunkenly attempt to outrun the train — no can do — and are smashed,” he added.

‘Bears Will Continue To Die’
posted by dancestoblue (3 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: Double -- loup

posted by Horace Rumpole at 4:40 AM on November 20 [2 favorites]

Why is drunk in scare quotes? They aren't getting "drunk" they're getting drunk. It's alcohol intoxication - drunkenness. They're just not doing it by drinking.
posted by Dysk at 5:01 AM on November 20

Because 'drunk,' referring to alcohol intoxication, is a euphemism, and as you point out, it's an unusual usage. Single quotes, in my case, refers to the word itself.

Also, skim-readers may otherwise mistake that it's humans drunkenly getting hit by trains.
posted by grokus at 7:22 AM on November 20

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