Drunk animals!
September 29, 2011 1:09 PM   Subscribe

Tell me about animals that get drunk.

I'm working on a piece for my podcast about alcohol, and we're going to do something about animals that like alcohol. If you have an animal that likes to get drunk, whether your own pet or an animal that you have seen, or have any info related to this, let me know! Birds count!
posted by Bunny Ultramod to Pets & Animals (58 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
I know that wild animals can get drunk on fermented fruit. But do they like it?
posted by Foci for Analysis at 1:16 PM on September 29, 2011

I've only read accounts of this, so I don't have a link, but I understand that Cedar Waxwings will share over-ripe berries, which have fermented on the vine. Additionally, my dog will go after a beer can or bottle like nobody's business, though I don't know if the drips are enough to actually make him drunk.
posted by Gilbert at 1:19 PM on September 29, 2011

Drunk Thieving Monkeys
posted by kimdog at 1:20 PM on September 29, 2011

Monkeys like alcohol, apparently. They like it a lot.

Soothing BBC voice makes drunk monkeys ever better.
posted by lydhre at 1:20 PM on September 29, 2011 [3 favorites]

Anecdotally, I used to work for a guy who claimed to have a Vietnamese potbellied pig that loved beer. Supposedly, it once discovered a stash of beercans, bit them all open, and made a hell of a mess while drinking up as much beer as it could; he said he came home to find it passed out in a mess of beer, cardboard, and aluminum.

Can't vouch that it's true, but I tend to believe it because the guy in question never displayed any hint of an imagination, and I can't see him fabricating something that good.

Also, the Honey Badger guy has a drunk animals video.
posted by COBRA! at 1:20 PM on September 29, 2011 [2 favorites]

Dogs seem to love beer.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 1:21 PM on September 29, 2011

Another anecdote: I used to know someone who had a dog whom he swore loved beer. Until she got wasted and woke up with a hangover. The dog stopped being interested in beer after that.
posted by smirkette at 1:24 PM on September 29, 2011

Yup, dogs definitely love beer.
posted by dfriedman at 1:26 PM on September 29, 2011

Moose often have a tipple in Sweden. But they usually don't wind up in trees.
posted by cmyk at 1:28 PM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

My dumb dog has enjoyed a drink or two when she's knocked over a bottle.
It all started when she fucked up my margarita when I was outside having a cigarette.
my 2cents
posted by handbanana at 1:31 PM on September 29, 2011

Another anecdote:

A cat I knew got into some spiked eggnog. Drank what must have been a whole cup. I don't remember any specifics about drunken antics, but the next morning the cat was under the bed and would not come out. For three days.

My friends and I now refer to a particularly nasty hangover as "a cat hangover".
posted by Specklet at 1:32 PM on September 29, 2011 [6 favorites]

Squirrels have been known to eat fermented berries and get kinda crazy.

Also, this: http://www.vinow.com/general_usvi/articles/beer_drinking_pig.php I've fed those pigs beer myself....
posted by blaneyphoto at 1:32 PM on September 29, 2011

I knew a beer stealing dog. Little terrier mix named Kirby. He'd snag unwatched bottles and cans, and dump them out on the floor so he could drink up. His favorite were the plastic bottles, and more than once he'd roll on his back with the bottle in the air between his paws to get the last drops.

Once at a party there was a opinion that giving him shots of tequila would be a good idea after the dog kept trying to get at the bottle. So we tried that. He would lap them right up and beg for more which is pretty odd. we cut him off after the second or third, but the dog proceeded to walk around the apartment begging with a distinct wobble and funny grin.. seemed fine the next day.
posted by anti social order at 1:34 PM on September 29, 2011

I have been known to have some parties and the day after when we pour out all the abandoned beers my dog goes nuts for them, he also likes mikes hard, which is weird because he's afraid of citrus.
posted by boobjob at 1:35 PM on September 29, 2011

The third-most interesting fact about Blue Morpo butterfiles is that, since they consume the juices of rotting fruits, and sometimes those fruits are undergoing natural fermentation, they apparently get drunk (this supposedly makes them very easy to catch). The second-most interesting fact is that their wings are not blue in the sense we normally think of things being blue as (reflecting blue wavelenths of light). They are clear, however, they are diffraction gratings. The first-most interesting fact about them is holy crap what a crazy color!

All of this might be false. IANAL (I am not a lepidopterist)
posted by jeb at 1:35 PM on September 29, 2011

Surprised nobody has mentioned the drunk elk in Sweden that was found trapped in a tree.
posted by General Malaise at 1:42 PM on September 29, 2011 [2 favorites]

I had a dog chew the top off a brand new bottle of bourbon we had left on the hearth. Luckily we came home before she drank herself to death, although she was pretty loopy.

She nornally didnt get into things and had a pre-existing alcohol problem when we got her from the pound so I'm sure she did it on purpose.
posted by fshgrl at 1:43 PM on September 29, 2011

Psst, General Malaise.
posted by Specklet at 1:47 PM on September 29, 2011

While it has never been said of any person that he is drunk as a pentailed tree shrew, it could be said. Bears also get drunk a lot, and then post the videos to youtube.
posted by Francolin at 1:52 PM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

My viszla, Finlay, loves Ambergeddon. He's a fan of other beers, but will whine and carry on to get some.

He also likes wine, but much prefers whites to reds, and the more fragrant the better.

He doesn't like hard liquor as much, but will have a taste if offered.

My other dog doesn't like to drink so much. He will happily have some beer, but he's basically indifferent in comparison to that lush Finlay.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 1:55 PM on September 29, 2011

There was an issue (No. 5) of Wholphin a while ago with a short documentary about drunk bees. Trailer here. Some more about drunk bees on io9.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:05 PM on September 29, 2011 [2 favorites]

My cat drank an entire glass of a coconut rum and cream drink last year. We didn't notice much of a change, he was just super sleepy.
posted by Pork n Beans at 2:16 PM on September 29, 2011

My sister (who is something of an expert on horses) told me that you shouldn't let horses anywhere near an orchard when the apples fall because they'll eat the half-rotted and fermeting apples and get drunk.

Eating a lot of apples also gives horses colic, of course, which can be quite unpleasant for them.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 2:22 PM on September 29, 2011

When I was a kid, my grandparents came to town one weekend and stayed at a nearby hotel. We went over there to visit so I could swim in the pool, and the adults sat around, drinking beer and talking.

A longhorn beetle lit on the top of the can my dad was drinking from and he, ecologist that he was, watched it instead of knocking it off. It lapped up some of the beer and then attempted to take off, but couldn't. It couldn't fly for lurching for a while, I believe.
posted by telophase at 2:25 PM on September 29, 2011

I once knew a pair of basset hounds that loved a beer when they could get it. Unfortunately when they'd had a bit much they would get the clumsies and start treading on their own ears when they were walking. If they decided to try running watch out, it was just a mess.
posted by N-stoff at 2:39 PM on September 29, 2011 [3 favorites]

in a former life I shared a house with a bunch of friends in college, which we called the halfway house. we had a white rabbit, purchased from a mall pet store, named sanchez. sanchez was of the large, white, pull-out-of-your-hat rabbit variety. my friend darren taught sanchez the joys of wine, particularly cheap red varieties. you could always tell when sanchez had been drinking from the leftover wine on the back porch because his white face was replete was a dark red goatee. he would drink and drink, then attempt to hop across the deep green grass of the back yard, only to find himself on his side, legs still hopping away, until he fell asleep. it's no surprise that darren taught the rabbit to drink, as sanchez was purchased when darren had five too many wondering around at the mall himself. darren also lived in a tent, in his room inside the house simply because he wanted to. sanchez was none the worse for wear, and eventually went to live with a lovely classroom of fourth graders when we moved out.
posted by Bohemia Mountain at 2:41 PM on September 29, 2011 [6 favorites]

Is that Littlefinger narrating the BBC clip in Lydhre's comment?
posted by spasm at 2:50 PM on September 29, 2011

My father's budgie (of happy memory) liked to sip whiskey. He'd perch on my dad's glass and bob his head in. He tended to fly a little crookedly afterwards.
posted by Mrs. Rattery at 2:56 PM on September 29, 2011

elephants in africa. apparently not a huge number of elephants but like this article says : "People just want to believe in drunken elephants". I am one of those people.
posted by memi at 2:57 PM on September 29, 2011

As I recall, mostly animals that will eat spoiled fruit can get drunk, otherwise they get poisoned (like the cat under the bed may have been sleeping off not drunkenness but plain old toxicity). In the northern hemisphere this includes a lot of animals that eat fruit still hanging around on trees in the winter -- like moose, birds, etc. Pigs, dogs (possibly due to their long association with humans), bears.

My parents had a bunch of bushes that held their berries very, very late, and round about January we'd start getting drunk stupid birds flying into the windows nearby. Or just tottering around drunkenly on the ground after partaking. It didn't seem to do them much harm once they recovered from slamming into a window.

I've read lots of crazy stories about bears breaking into cars, coolers, and houses to get at beer in California. Apparently once they have a taste for beer it's a problem. Here's one in Seattle that drank 36 cans.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 3:03 PM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

Every year when I was growing up, robins would gorge themselves on fermenting berries in our backyard and then careen around and crash into windows.
posted by zombiedance at 3:05 PM on September 29, 2011

Once, when I lived in southeastern Michigan, I pulled into my driveway during a fall afternoon only to find that my yard was full of squirrels. Maybe 15, probably more. They were running around going completely gaga, chasing each other, biting each others tails, running up tress and back down again, and making lots of chattering noise. After about a minute a trio of squirrels, each one chasing the other in a line, run onto my car dash, put their paws on my windshield and just short of scream at me. All I could picture were fraternity guys during a bender. Just as fast as they arrived they all dashed off together. I went inside and watched the squirrels from a windows and saw that they were enjoying bites of some of the downed apples off of our apple tree. I am still a little skeptical that there could be that much fermented material in the apples, except for the whacked out party atmosphere in the yard. Crazy squirrels! At the time I was homebrewing and so I poured myself a tall one and spent the rest of the beautiful afternoon watching the squirrel party.
posted by Tallguy at 3:09 PM on September 29, 2011 [5 favorites]

Besides the recent drunk moose story, the astronomer Tycho Brahe infamously owned a pet moose which died after it drank too much beer at a party and fell down the stairs.
posted by doop at 3:09 PM on September 29, 2011 [2 favorites]

I should mention tipsy yellowjackets. Especially around plum trees around this time of the year - completely clueless, but still with sting. Bad combination.
posted by Namlit at 3:58 PM on September 29, 2011

RIP, Clay Henry III, the beer drinking Mayor of Lajitas, Texas.

There is much more about the poor animal out on the interwebs.
posted by Seamus at 4:29 PM on September 29, 2011

My dog had a few scandalous incidents wherein he got into someone's Bailey's (after the first time he began seeking it out) and would get all crazy fratboy drunky and run around humping things deliriously.
posted by elizardbits at 5:38 PM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

I know for a fact possums like bread soaked in leftover beer.

I also also know the noises drunk possums make trying to climb up a corrogated iron roof at 3am ...
posted by GeeEmm at 5:44 PM on September 29, 2011

I used to have a pet rat (that lived in my pocket) and you had to be very careful leaving any beer cans around him and he would run up and knock them over to get at the contents (and rats are not supposed to have the livers to take much). He was particularly fond of the the head off a pint of Guiness and would carefully balalnce with his paws on the rim to lap it up.
posted by tallus at 6:30 PM on September 29, 2011

In the garden of our former house, the wasps would suck the nectar from the wild orchids (Epipactis helleborine (Broad-leaved Helleborine) ) and get to drunk/stoned to fly. They'd litterally fall off the plant.
posted by Thug at 6:36 PM on September 29, 2011

OK, these are mythical animals, but I recently learned about the Centzon Totochtin, the Four Hundred divine rabbits of the Aztec pantheon that preside over parties and drunkenness.
posted by Rube R. Nekker at 6:41 PM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

Horses like beer. Funny story there.
posted by ihadapony at 7:59 PM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

Some amusing drunken antics here.

Staggering ostrich? Gotcha covered.
posted by BlueHorse at 8:56 PM on September 29, 2011

In college, my brother and I had an abandoned apple tree in the front yard. We had an early freeze one year, and most of the apples stayed on the tree over the winter. Come next spring thaw, the juncos found the apples. It looked like a bird frat party. Most couldn't fly at all, and they tended to fall over when wandering around the yard.

The birds sobered up and flew away before the neighborhood cats got in on the fun.
posted by underflow at 9:32 PM on September 29, 2011

When I was a kid, we had a fig tree in the back yard. Every couple of years, we'd get a bumper crop, and a lot of fruit was left rotting on tree. This was about 20 years ago when the area still wasn't built up as much, so raccoons, opossums, coyotes, and what not were still around in abundance.

So. Every few years this tree was just a little slice of heaven for the local raccoons and opossums. And every few years, we'd be woken up in the middle of the night to a rustling, swaying tree, with a full family of raccoons in it, and the occasional drunk raccoon falling right out.

I doubt they were seeking out the fermented fruits in particular, but they certainly weren't avoiding them.
posted by Barmecide at 9:35 PM on September 29, 2011

Back in the 70s, My mom used to have a parrot that got high on bayberries (the kind that grow on California bay laurel trees). They're toxic to humans, but the parrot seemed OK. She'd fly up and eat some, then plop back down, and wander around the floor making weird noises.
posted by Nibbly Fang at 10:21 PM on September 29, 2011

My chickens like beer and fermenting pears. Makes their feathers fluff!
posted by fritillary at 10:46 PM on September 29, 2011

ABC News Australia reports drunken lorikeets in the Northern Territory. More in the 'related stories' on drunk baboons, badgers and a dog who ate straight yeast.
posted by quercus23 at 11:14 PM on September 29, 2011

Oliver the Cat likes scotch but only the good stuff.
posted by deborah at 2:16 AM on September 30, 2011

Had a cat that started lapping irish cream out of a glass someone had put beside their chair. Being students, we watched with amusement.

Cat got noticeably drunk - unsteady, dopey, and clumsy, which in contrast to his usual cat-like grace, was very entertaining.

Cat never again went near alcohol. Even when we put irish cream in a dish for him - HIS dish - he absolutely wouldn't touch the stuff ever again.

Note that he didn't learn "Don't steal people-foods", he learned "Be more selective about what people-foods to steal".

That's how cats learn - whichever lesson you wish would be imparted, they'll learn the other thing instead.
posted by -harlequin- at 2:38 AM on September 30, 2011

Red-collared lorikeets. I used to watch these guys get wasted in Queens Park in Townsville.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 4:13 AM on September 30, 2011

in tasmania, down near the pyengana dairy company (which does amazing cheese), there's a pub in a paddock called "The Pub in the Paddock". does what it says on the tin.

at the bar they sold cheap warm bottles of beer for a dollar or so. these bottles were for priscilla. priscilla was the princess of the paddock. which meant she was a 300 kilogram sow with an immense appetite for beer. this is what she looked like.

so you'd buy a couple of bottles and go out into the paddock to present priscilla with her libations. she'd trot up to the fence and you'd put the beer through the fence, at which stage she'd vigorously gum your hand clutching the beer bottle with her not insubstantial lips until all the beer was gone.

repeat until either you run out of change or the pig has had enough beer. clue, the former happened first - five bucks worth and she was very disappointed when i left. i thought it was the best thing i'd ever seen.

my old man was down there a few months back, and apparently she's gone to the big sty in the sky, and her replacement is teetotal, which is a little sad, but that alcoholic pig will always have a special place in my heart.
posted by soi-disant at 4:44 AM on September 30, 2011

posted by dhruva at 4:59 AM on September 30, 2011

There are goats who drink beer at silky o'sullivan's in Memphis. They live in a goat tower and are pretty awesome.

My friend who's family owned a horse ranch said that they couldn't leave beers on the fence because the horses would grab them and upend them and drink the entire thing. He didn't see any drunk horses though because it would take a lot of beer to get them intoxicated.

My girlfriend's dog like's beer and will follow me around when I open one until she gets some. She doesn't get drunk often and will stop drinking when she's decided she's had enough. She will also drink out of my scotch glass, but only a little. She will also drink red wine out of my glass, but doesn't seem to like that as much.
posted by kookywon at 7:50 AM on September 30, 2011

You might want to glance at the book 'The Soul of The Ape' by Eugene Marais.
posted by ovvl at 9:49 AM on September 30, 2011

We had a cockatiel that liked to snitch Scotch.

My friend who's family owned a horse ranch said that they couldn't leave beers on the fence because the horses would grab them and upend them and drink the entire thing.

My family had a horse that did that.
posted by moira at 11:16 AM on September 30, 2011

I saw this movie about people in Tibet or whatever pouring vodka into the water troughs of horses and mules in order to make them less stubborn and more immune to the cold while trekking in the winters.

forgive the vagueness, i'm pre-coffee.
posted by custard heart at 9:17 AM on October 1, 2011

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