Aww, look at that cute little animal doing human stuff. He thinks he's people! He's pushing a little cart, he's wearing a hat, now he's buying a speedball off of Scritchy Saul and overdosing in an alley! Yes, animals like to get just as recreationally wasted as us humans do. Sometimes, even more so ...
Gorillas have every reason to be stressed out. They're critically endangered, their trees keep getting knocked down, poachers keep trying to shoot them ... how do they deal with this day-to-day nightmare? The same way that we would: by getting riggity-riggity-wrecked, son!
Gorillas in the mountains of Rwanda have discovered a local form of bamboo with naturally alcoholic sap. The locals call it ulanzi, or "bamboo wine." The gorillas just call it "a damn good time."
Wildlife photographer Andy Rouse discovered the jungle frat party when he went to Rwanda in search of a Gorillas In The Mist experience. What he found instead, in his own words, were "gorillas who were pissed." As a result, he managed to take all of these great photographs that the embarrassed gorillas hope you don't tag them in on Facebook. He's also the first person in history to catch photographic evidence of gorilla hangovers:
Since the 1930s, Australia's wildlife has been waging a war of extinction against the cane toad, an animal that Australia deliberately and stupidly introduced to control the beetle population. In a country where every second rock you turn over is actually some kind of fucking rock-snake that can murder your entire family, it's hard to believe that the king of the food chain is a goddamn toad, but cane toads are so poisonous that they kill anything that eats them, and this is a continent where everything is trying to eat you.
But dogs are taking those cane toads and making cane-toad-ade. It turns out that the chemical cane toads excrete through their skin is a mild hallucinogenic in small quantities, which animals can experience by licking them. Since dogs are uniquely prone to licking everything they see, it's a foregone conclusion that they would eventually figure out that toads get them high.
The drugged dogs run in circles, their pupils dilate, they stare into space, and generally act tripped-out. And, like any human drug, overindulgence can lead to health problems. That's why Australia has rehab programs to get your dog off their debilitating toad addiction.
Antifreeze is straight-up poison to most animals, but it's a less straight-up poison to the marmots at Sequoia and Yosemite National Parks in California, who have taken to lurking in gangs of four or five underneath cars in parking lots, then chewing through brake lines, radiator hoses, and whatever else needs compromising in order to get at the antifreeze. Up to 40 cars are damaged this way every year.
It's become such a problem that people have taken to fortifying their cars with tarps and chicken wire to discourage the junkie vandals. People have even been known to leave bowls of antifreeze nearby as a more easily accessible option, like some sort of wildlife methadone program.
Marmots have even been known to accidentally hitch a ride and end up being taken out of their specific habitat, outside of which they can't survive. And there's nothing sadder than a homeless Marmot in a strange town, sitting at the corner of the off-ramp, his tiny paws resting on a sign reading "Y lie? Need money 4 antifreeze."
It's common knowledge that the pufferfish is incredibly poisonous, but in very small quantities, its poison is a powerful narcotic. Humans have much safer methods of getting high, but dolphins have to take what they can get, and pods of dolphins have been found lightly gnawing on pufferfish for the singular goal of getting adorably smashed.
This probably isn't pleasant for the pufferfish, but the dolphins don't kill it -- instead, they pass it around like a joint, sucking on the unfortunate critter just long enough to feel its effects before giving it over to the next aquatic stoner. When all the dolphins are blitzed out of their minds, they simply let the fish go free while they float about in the ocean, much like you float about on that beanbag in the basement. We're all, like, one species, man.
It turns out that squirrels have an alcohol problem. Like, collectively, as a species. They've been known to seek out fruit that has been rotting in the sun, probably lured by the pungent aroma, but it doesn't take much fermented fruit juice to give a squirrel a head rush. As a result, there are several videos on YouTube of drunk squirrels trying to navigate a world that is suddenly spinning around them.
This is especially prevalent after Halloween, when some households take a little too long to deal with all the carved pumpkins lying around, which makes somewhere around Nov. 17 the squirrel equivalent of St. Patrick's Day.
In July 2015, staff of an English private club came to work to find the place ransacked and the floor drenched in a lake of beer. Initially assuming they had been robbed, they eventually discovered the culprit still inside the building -- an extremely intoxicated squirrel who had managed to turn on the beer taps and proceeded to party like a squirrel in a beer lake.
At some point, somebody in Russia needed to dispose of a whole bunch of barrels of aviation fuel, and they decided that the virtually inaccessible Kronotsky Nature Reserve was their best option. Years later, scientists discovered a curious side effect -- local brown bears had learned to open the barrels and were getting high as balls on the fumes.
The bears of the region have become accustomed to huffing fumes from the barrels until they get higher than Sputnik, finishing their binge by digging a ditch in the snow and passing out. And they've become so addicted that, according to witnesses, they will gather to ambush landing helicopters and other aircraft, lured by the gasoline like the most hilarious Mad Max sequel possible.
Wildlife photographer Igor Shpilenok documented the perpetually stoned bears for seven months, watching as they not only congregated to get high on fuel barrels but obsessively sniffed the ground under landing helicopters for the lingering scent of dripping fuel, like a desperate alcoholic slurping whiskey residue out of an ashtray.
Naturally, this is Russia, so we're not exactly surprised that animals are finding a way to get as drunk as their human compatriots. In fact, in Ukraine, there are even programs designed to detox alcoholic bears. And now, if you'll excuse us, we have to buy a plane ticket and fulfill a lifelong dream of getting hammered with a bear.
Interested in more ways animals party? Like how they're actually pretty bad singers or how elephants are angry drunks. Learn more in 5 Eerily Familiar Things Animals Do When They're Drunk and 7 Species That Get High More Than We Do.
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