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Drunk parrots pose problem in Australia

The parrots are feasting on the fallen fruit.(Photo: ABC News)

Drinking and driving is very dangerous not only for humans but for parrots too. According to Australian veterinarians, Red-winged parrots are getting loaded on alcohol-rich mangoes and dying of intoxication or accidents caused by flying under the influence of alcohol.

“Parrots are getting wasted on fermented fruit – and, in some cases, dying as a result of their drunken behaviour,” says the report by ABC News.

Parrots getting drunk after eating fallen, fermenting mangoes in the Kimberley

December is the last month of the mango crop in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, and hundreds of ripe mangoes fall to the ground which subsequently rot and ferment in the sun, producing alcohol. That alcohol is being guzzled by the area's resident red-winged parrots.

“So far, we've seen about half a dozen in total, but there are a lot of them, unfortunately, that don't make it to the clinic because they pass away before people find them,” Murphy said. “Usually, they've been suffering for a couple of days. They're quite lethargic and at various stages of malnutrition,” the report quoted Paul Murphy, veterinary expert.

“There are few reports of parrots flying into windows and sitting on the floor, not being able to fly and being vulnerable to cats and other predators,” said Murphy.

These parrots are known for their ear-piercing screeching, which grows even louder when intoxicated, much to the consternation of residents of the area. In fact, these months are sometimes referred to as 'drunken parrot season' by ornithologists studying the behaviour of birds.

“They act exactly as drunk humans. They stumble around with their heads dropped down. They tend to be depressed, they can't fly, and they have difficulty climbing or balancing on perches,” says the report. 

This isn’t the first time parrots have earned a reputation for indulging in drinking. In 2019, opium farmers of Neemuch in Madhya Pradesh had complained that addicted parrots are destroying their crops.