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Fermented Fruit Leads to Drunken Animals

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

animals drunk from fermented fruit

Story at-a-glance -

  • Fermented fruit may intoxicate lightweight birds, but the raccoons who reportedly were drunk on fermented crabapples in Milton, West Virginia, in fact had distemper. Two of three of the raccoons were recaptured and euthanized
  • Alcohol use disorders are rising in humans, but while some animals may overindulge on fermenting fruit, only smaller, lightweight animals — like birds — will be affected by the low percentage of alcohol by volume found in naturally fermenting foods
  • Distemper can be transmitted to humans, but while fatal in most animals, it triggers no symptoms or illness in humans. Rabies is another condition causing strange behavior in animals, which is fatal when not treated immediately
  • Protect yourself and your pets from contracting rabies by vaccinating your dogs and cat, keeping them indoors, or confined and supervised when outdoors, and report any stray dogs or cats and any animals who appear sick or injured

Animals and alcohol don’t mix. Residents of Gilbert, Minnesota, have reported birds flying under-the-influence in their community. They were flying into windows and cars and generally acting confused after partaking of fermented berries in the neighborhood before flying south.

The chief of police reported the younger birds were getting more “tipsy” as their livers may not handle the toxins as efficiently as the more mature birds. In Wayne Township, Indianapolis, a woman called on firefighters in the early morning hours, frightened her pet raccoon was in danger after having eaten someone else’s marijuana.

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