Do Animals Get Drunk?

Elmira | 12 - 20 - 2020
Do Animals Get Drunk

Who says animals don’t get drunk? They can and do get drunk. Several studies have practiced on various species and they measured the alcohol levels in the blood and their behaviors observed.

Not only humans but animals also do like the product of fermentation. Do wild animals get drunk? If you want to find out whether wild animals or birds get drunk by consuming fermented berries/fruit/ alcohol, read further to discover the actual fact.

What Wild Animals Get Drunk?


 As stated by Katy Prudic, an entomologist at the University of Arizona, “I’ve gotten butterflies out of beer cans before.” They enjoyed a good ferment.

Can a Dog Get Drunk?
  • A. Yes
  • B. No

 Prudic told, male butterflies consume beer to boost their spermatophores, which are nutrient-rich packages. Males like to give it to females as a nuptial gift. Not only butterflies, but other insects also consumed beer/wine. Several entomologists bait insects with beer. The 2008 research discovered that 35 species of moths were baited with wine and they attracted easily when they drank beer.

Other Insects

A study shows male fruit flies that haven’t mated turn to alcohol to reward themselves.

Other insects when they are sexually rejected they turn to drink alcohol. The Study in the journal Science was published in 2012, in which scientists observed and compared male fruit flies’ preferences and they successfully mated with those males that had not mated.

The study results concluded that unmated males wanted to consume food containing alcohol whereas mated males did not. The study showed mated males’ brain chemical(called neuropeptide F) was higher than unmated males. Hence they turned to consume alcohol to boost their sense of satisfaction.

Deer and Moose 

Many mammals also get drunk mostly by consuming nectar or fermented fruit. Don Moore, associate director of the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington D.C., mentioned via email (reported by National Geographic) that he observed the result of overripe fruits on animals hands-on. He stated that “I’ve watched white-tailed deer eating fermented apples in orchards,” Moore says. They get pretty “sleepy,” even “stumble-y.” It’s a common observation in apple-growing regions.”

Many news outlets reported in 2011 that in Sweden, an intoxicated moose got stuck in an apple tree.

Pen-Tailed Tree Shrew Alcoholic Than Humans

 There are animals that have a higher tolerance for alcohol. Pen-tailed tree shrew from Malaysia consumes nectar from the flowers of Bertram’s palm. The tree is highly known for its highest alcohol content recorded in natural food that is 3.8%, as stated by a 2008 study in the Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences.

Surprisingly, these shrews don’t show any effects of intoxication.

Bats Can Manage Their Alcohol

Several bats consume fermented fruits as well as nectar but they seem fine to fly.

The 2010 research in the journal PLOS ONE discovered that leaf-nosed bats’ flight and echolocation skills seemed unaffected after drinking ethanol.


South African elephants like to get drunk, says local legends.

Monkeys Steal Cocktails from People

In the Caribbean, Vervet monkeys started stealing alcohol from people and they were addicted to alcohol consumption 300 years ago. Monkeys found fermented sugar cane tasty since the period of the plantation era. They prefer alcohol in the place of water. 1 in 5 monkeys like to consume alcohol more than water, as reported by a 1993 study published by Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior 46.

Hence, it is proved that many wild animals get drunk.




Related Quiz Test Your Knowledge
Read Next