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Drunkard animals: 5 creatures that consume fermented fruit or drinks

By: Shea Gunther on March 29, 2012, 6:04 p.m.
cat with bottle of wine

Photo: Helena Jacoba/flickr

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Drunkard animals

Humans have been seeking mind-altering substances for nearly as long as we've walked on two legs. Archeologists have found beer in the ancient burial chambers of pharaohs, and it's believed that we started turning grapes into wine at least as far back as the Neolithic period. Today, sales of alcoholic beverages are increasing — despite, or maybe because of, the recession —  to say nothing of the enormous market for more illicit substances.

 

But maybe 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. (Text: Shea Gunther)