Overripe fruit leads to fermentation, which produces alcohol. According to Professor Robert Dudley:
All animals that eat fruit or consume nectar are potentially exposed to alcohol ingestion on a regular basis.
That gives you an idea of how many animals are alcoholics! Here are the animals best known for their penchant for the bottle.
Chimpanzees in Bossou, Guinea, like to go on regular binges. The locals extract the sweet sap from the trees in the forest where the chimpanzees live. This palm wine is served to them on a silver platter, as the primates only have to help themselves to the containers where the sap slowly ferments.
The aye-aye, also known as the Madagascar lemur, falls into its old ways during the rainy season. During this time there are very few larvae left on the menu, which leads it to spend 20% of its time drinking the nectar of the Ravenala tree, which has an alcohol content of 5%.
The slow loris
The slow loris, a little ball of fur from Asia, is quite the drinker. Its favourite drink? The nectar of the Eugeissona palm, which can contain up to 3.8% alcohol and which constitutes the main part of its diet.
Elephants are very intelligent animals. So intelligent that they have learned that eating fermented fruit can lead to drunkenness. In India and Africa, there is a growing problem of alcoholism among these pachyderms in search of slightly overripe fruit.
So, are you surprised by this? There really is not much that separates us from animals!