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Drunken Birds Prompt Calls to Minn. Police Department

They should "sober up in a short period of time"
By Luke Roney,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 4, 2018 5:31 PM CDT
Drunken Birds Prompt Calls to Minn. Police Department
Birds!   (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

Apparently, the birds of Gilbert, Minn., can't handle their liquor. Case in point: The police department there has received several reports of birds that "appear to be 'under the influence' flying into windows, cars, and acting confused," according to a police department statement released this week. The culprit? An early frost. Or, more specifically, berries that froze, causing the starch they contain to convert to sugar, which in turn fermented when the berries thawed. "Birds actually do get literally intoxicated when they eat berries that have started fermenting," a bird expert tells the Duluth News Tribune. "And that does lead to drunken behavior." And it's pretty common, reports NPR, which dug up some other instances of boozey birds.

In one case, the city of Whitehorse in the Yukon had to set up drunk tanks (modified hamster cages) for the "party fowl." As for Gilbert's winged drunkards, "There's no need to call law enforcement about these birds as they should sober up within a short period of time," per the police statement, which adds that there are some bird-related occurrences that should be called in. Among these are: "The Roadrunner jumping in and out of traffic on Main Street;" "Big Bird operating a motor vehicle in an unsafe manner;" and " Tweety acting as if 10 feet tall and getting into confrontations with cats." (Read more birds stories.)

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