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Can animals get drunk if they consume alcohol? Expert explains

Animals are attracted to fruits derived from the production of alcoholic beverages due to their high caloric value.

Animals have evolved such an efficient mechanism for metabolising alcohol [Kate Grounds/Edinburgh Zoo]

Reports of "drunk" animals cause quite a stir. It was no different in the case of Chrumek, a wild boar who decided to taste a pile of fermented fruit seven years ago.

Now his story is recalled by Dariusz Dziektarz, a forester and populariser of knowledge about nature who explains why animals are "attracted" to fermented fruit.

The extraordinary adventure of the wild Chrumek was reported in the media almost seven years ago. At the end of 2017, the curious animal couldn't resist the temptation to try a pile of fermented fruit that a farmer left behind after making wine. Woken up a few hours later by concerned owners of nearby farms, Chrumek was probably not fully aware of the situation he found himself in.

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As Dziektarz emphasises, the case of the wild boar Chrumek is not an isolated one. "In autumn, not only wild boars, but also deer, bears and a whole host of insects are attracted to fermented fruit under apple or pear trees. The wasps that are bothersome at this time of year may simply be a bit... tipsy!" he said in a series of posts on X, formerly Twitter.

The populariser of knowledge about nature explained that in the case of animals, the attractiveness of fermented fruits or fruits derived from the production of alcoholic beverages is simply due to their high caloric value.

"Alcohol inhibits the growth of potentially harmful microorganisms and is not an end in itself. In 'natural' amounts, it probably does not lead to getting drunk," explained Dziektarz.

"Starlings and waxwings are, of course, known for eating old, fermenting fruit, but research shows that they have evolved such an efficient mechanism for metabolising alcohol that they are not at risk of getting drunk," added the forester.

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This article was originally published on Onet Travel.

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