Drunkard Animals: 5 Creatures That Consume Fermented Fruit or Drinks

Photo: Zastolskiy Victor/Shutterstock

Humans aren't the only animals on the planet that like to alter their perception. Our animal cousins eat fermented fruits and have even been known to steal alcoholic beverages, though the science is murky on intent. From monkeys that stake out tourist bars and swipe tropical cocktails to elephants that break into stores for beer, there seems to be a desire for a little liquid relief from the toil of the daily grind. The following animals eat fermented fruits or drink alcoholic beverages, sometimes with disastrous results.

1
of 5

Elephants

Photo: Zastolskiy Victor/Shutterstock

The only thing worse than an angry drunk is a 10,000-pound angry drunk equipped with tusks, a large tactile trunk and feet made for squashing. Elephants have gone on numerous recorded benders, most of which seem to start off when elephants raid the beer supplies of a town or village right before a celebration. It takes a LOT of booze to get an elephant drunk, so any pachydermic bender requires an enormous quantity of alcohol. In 2010, elephants destroyed 60 houses in a village in India after they found the villagers' supply of a local brew, a drink made from fermented rice. They rampaged through town for a while and then passed out.

2
of 5

Bears

Photo: Greg and Jan Ritchie/Shutterstock

Chalk bears up as another animal that you don't want to cross when it’s drunk. Bears may not be as large as elephants, but they more than make up for it by being big enough, not to mention having claws and teeth. In 2004, Washington state Fish and Wildlife agents found a black bear passed out on the lawn of the Baker Lake Resort. The animal wasn't sleeping and he wasn't injured — he was drunk. The bear had raided the coolers of nearby campers and downed can after can of beer. The bear wasn't happy with just any beer and specifically targeted cans of Rainier Beer (an awesome new slogan for them might be: "The beer bears binge on!"). The bear was captured for relocation — lured in with doughnuts, honey and two cans of Rainier.

3
of 5

Monkeys

Photo: xiploo/Shutterstock

Monkeys have a well-documented love of alcohol. It makes sense, considering how many genes humans and monkeys share that they would share our love of “the drink.” Monkeys have been observed stealing drinks from tourists at tropical destinations all over the world. In 2006, researchers found that the drinking patterns of rhesus macaque monkeys actually closely match those of humans.

4
of 5

Shrews

Photo: Anthony Cramp/Flickr [CC by 2.0]

In 2008, a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that the pentailed tree shrew, a tiny animal living in the Malaysian rain forest, had a habit of revisiting the bertam palm tree every night to drink natural alcohol from fermenting fruit. Researchers found that the nectar had 3.8 percent alcohol content, about the same as a weak beer. The tree shrew was seen returning to the tree up to three times in a night. Oddly enough, they weren't seen exhibiting signs of drunkenness, but perhaps the tree shrew can hold its liquor.

5
of 5

Moose

Photo: Kent Miller/Denali National Park and Preserve/Flickr [CC by 1.0]A

Recently a moose was found stuck in a tree in Sweden. Apparently the animal became entangled in the limbs of a small tree after eating fermented apples, which can be found in abundance in yards and fields in the fall. The drunken moose was caught with three legs off the ground and was eventually freed by a local man, a hunter and the fire department. The animal was woozy, but otherwise fine.