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Nature & Environment

Elephant herd gets drunk on fermented fruit

By T.K. Randall
April 24, 2014 · Comment icon 19 comments



Elephants can eat hundreds of fruits in a single day. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 Greg Willis
Field guide Ross Couper snapped several pictures as the intoxicated elephants hilariously rolled around.
The peculiar scene unraveled at Singita Kruger National Park in South Africa after a number of elephants stuffed themselves with an exorbitant quantity of marulas, a fruit that can possess an intoxicating effect once it has ripened and fermented.

This year saw a bumper crop of the sweet and tart fruits falling to the ground where they ended up within easy reach of the local wildlife. A single elephant can sometimes consume up to 30kg in a single day, equating to over 700 individual fruits.
As Couper watched the young elephants it became clear that they had already eaten one too many marulas, blinding milling about and falling over one another in a drunken stupor.

Getting drunk, it seems, is definitely not exclusive to humans.

Source: AOL Travel | Comments (19)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #10 Posted by seeder 9 years ago
They should put that fruit in all the zoos, number one it gives the animals a 'taste of home' and a break from the captivity, and number 2, it'd increase visits massively
Comment icon #11 Posted by WhyDontYouBeliEveMe 9 years ago
omg ! animal cruelty , would you feed kids with alcohol ? seeing them drunk and laughing at it ? its so wrong ...
Comment icon #12 Posted by Babe Ruth 9 years ago
Does that work with any other fruit? Sure it does. Prisoners make such a concoction with fruit and stuff and they call it 'hooch'. I saw a similar video with giraffes and some primates doing the same thing, years ago. Behaviorally, it demonstrates that humans are not the only species with a desire to become euphoric, alter their perception of reality temporarily, whatever. That is, the human penchant for altered states of reality is very much normal behavior. Call it a vice if you wish, but it is normal behavior.
Comment icon #13 Posted by libstaK 9 years ago
That was hilarious - the monkey holding his head with a hangover just tipped me over the edge, I had tears of laughter after that.
Comment icon #14 Posted by libstaK 9 years ago
omg ! animal cruelty , would you feed kids with alcohol ? seeing them drunk and laughing at it ? its so wrong ... These trees grow in the wild in the animals natural habitat - the fruit wasn't put there by humans to get the animals drunk, the animals eat the fruit as part of their natural diet and if it is too ripe the results are what was filmed.
Comment icon #15 Posted by seeder 9 years ago
omg ! animal cruelty , would you feed kids with alcohol ? seeing them drunk and laughing at it ? its so wrong ... Wrong? They do it by choice!! Do watch and listen to which animals like a drinkie-poo
Comment icon #16 Posted by 6.6.6 9 years ago
We had pigs that got into the orchard and scoffed all the rotten apples, they were falling about and rolling around all night, then slept for two days straight! Must have been as rough as dogs! I can only assume they enjoyed being drunk as they were all trying to get back in for another binge the following weekend!
Comment icon #17 Posted by MyOtherAccount 9 years ago
Every year when the berries on a hedge in my dad's back yard fruited and then ripened, he would have more birds than the other times. They would eat the berries, become drunk and keep my dad in stitches watching all the funny things they did as a result. In Mexico, at the Pyramid of the Sun, there was a tourist souvenir shop. A burrow hung around outside for free drinks from a particular cactus (for fermented juice (tequila).) He also would do anything to get you to put a cold beer on the ground. He would nip it, turn it straight up and guzzle it down... and belch loudly whenever needed.. . In... [More]
Comment icon #18 Posted by Sundew 9 years ago
I've seen plenty of American Robins drunk on fermented berries, so much so that they can get run over by cars. Alcohol can turn a human into a "happy drunk" or a "mean drunk" so the saying goes. Does anyone want to imagine an elephant having a mean drunk episode. Yipe!
Comment icon #19 Posted by lisaloveslilia 9 years ago
I wonder if elephants can paint while intoxicated? I'd like to see THAT video.


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