Meet mother nature’s biggest boozers and thrill seekers. This group of animals like nothing more than to gulp down alcohol, eat addictive plants, or… smear millipede poison all over themselves. They hang loose like no other – and don’t care about the hangover!Share
TOURIST TRAPPER – THE VERVET MONKEY
Vervet monkeys, like a lot of primates, have an awful amount of cunning to show off – and this is particularly evident in their habits of stealing alcohol from tourists visiting their Caribbean island homes! Scientists have even discovered that the alcoholic tastes of these monkeys varies from individual to individual – with some choosing to get absolutely sozzled, while others like a neat, slow drink.
LIGHTWEIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT – THE SYRIAN HAMSTER
While you may think the timid little creature you have running in a wheel has little more than a cute face, you’d be surprised to know that it has an extraordinary stomach for alcohol! This is traced back to its habits in the wild, where fruits it foraged to store for hibernation end up fermenting by the winter – meaning that they have had to evolve relatively huge livers to cope with the bombardment of booze until Spring!
ALL-NIGHT BOOZER – THE PEN-TAILED TREE SHREW
Much like the hamster, this Malaysian tree shrew is no stranger to the sauce – with a taste for plants that give off fruit that has already fermented. This means this tiny creature constantly feeds on alcohol – and just like the hamster, it has evolved to withstand the effects and unlike humans, doesn’t get a nasty hangover in the morning.
MUSHROOM MANIA – THE REINDEER
European reindeer have been found to actively look for certain types of mushroom that bring on hallucinogenic effects – the fungus, called amanita muscaria, sends a pronged party animal reeling with a sense that they are actually flying… although not pulling a sleigh! The effects are said to be so strong that humans have been known to drink the reindeer’s urine to get a hit themselves!
STING-KING DRUNK – THE BEE
Not only is the bee greatly attracted to fermented substances, but it’s also one of nature’s biggest lightweights. A drunk bee is likely to be a passed-out one – alcohol affects these creatures so badly that they won’t even be able to fly it off. It’s pretty unlikely that bees will stray from the hive due to their work ethic, however – and if they dare split from the group, or risk losing pollen, the brutal consequences for the poor drunk can be seen in the video below.
CRAZY FOR CYANIDE – CAPUCHIN MONKEYS
Capuchin Monkeys are pretty good animal medics and repel mosquitoes and other pests by killing highly poisonous millipedes and smearing the toxins on their bodies. While this is already a risky move due to the concentrated level of cyanide in the millipedes, these monkeys appear to enjoy doing this due to the bizarre effects it has on them. While only temporary, they will drift away from reality, high on what is potentially a killer drug.
LOCO FOR LOCOWEED – THE HORSE
Locoweed is technically a type of cannabis – and horses will often munch the bright-coloured grass for its addictive effects. However, like many drugs, long-term consumption can bring bodily damage – diarrhoea, weight loss and even depression have been shown to affect addicted equines. Preventing their animals from eating locoweed is a constant nightmare for ranchers – but the horses will keep on devouring it, unaware of the damage it’s doing.
PICKLED PACHYDERM – THE ELEPHANT
While elephants are unlikely to come across alcohol in the wild, those living nearby villages in countries to the East, such as India, have been known to develop a taste for the devil’s nectar – and have caused serious havoc while they’ve been at it! Villages have been ransacked and people killed because of drunken elephant rampages – so it’s probably wise to keep animals as big as these away from mind-bending chemicals!
FELINE FIX – THE JAGUAR
While the average housecat might find itself fixated on the catnip plant from time to time, its bigger, badder cousin has an even bigger, badder version of its addiction. The jaguar will strive to feast on the caapi plant, the root of which contains chemicals that both relax and magnify the senses – meaning that a jaguar high on these shrubs may have double the ability, but is probably far too docile to want to hunt you down.