People in Stittsville have been reporting sightings of drunk raccoons this week. One resident came home on Monday and found a raccoon passed out on the grass in her backyard, in broad daylight.
In another incident, an animal enforcement officer requested access to a neighbour’s backyard of after complaints were called in about another raccoon behaving strangely. There were concerns the animal might be rabid, but the officer reassured the homeowner by explaining that at this time of year, raccoon’s and other wildlife will eat fermented fruit that falls on the ground, and they can become quite drunk as a result.
There have been similar cases of intoxicated animals reported in the past, such as birds falling out of trees after overindulging on the fermenting fruit. Michael Runtz, the Carleton University biology professor, says that birds are far more prone to this kind of behaviour than racoons are, but there seems to be an exception to that theory this year… and particularly in Stittsville, or so it would seem.
“There has been an abundance of fruit on the trees this year”, said Michael Runtz. “It’s possible that some of the fruit is fermenting under the heat, and that these guys are getting a bit tipsy by eating that fermenting fruit.”
Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raccoon