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Douglas Capraro Douglas Capraro

Canada Rehabilitates Wasted Birds in Tiny Drunk Tanks

An environmental agency in Yukon, Canada cares for birds who had a few too many boozy berries.

4 Substance


Not gonna remember this tomorrow. Photo via Shutterstock

Waking up in the drunk tank isn’t always “cute,” unless you’re a little red-headed bird. An environmental agency in Yukon, Canada reports that they have set up drunk tanks to sober up flocks of Bohemian waxwing birds who have been getting tipsy by eating fermented berries.

“What happens around this time of year is that after the frost, the berries will ferment and so the birds actually can get a little intoxicated from eating these berries and they do in fact get drunk,” says Meghan Larivee from the agency’s animal health unit.

So why not let the birdies just ride out their drunkenness and wake up tomorrow with a hangover? Because, much like in humans, extreme intoxication can put them at risk for injury. “They’re flying around but they’re not as good at avoiding obstacles,” says Larivee. “Hitting windows is not uncommon.” Sometimes, these flight-crashes can be fatal.

The “drunk tanks” themselves are basically just cages where the drunk birds are kept until they “can sober up until they are able to be released,” says Larivee. According to Yukon Wildlife Preserve curator Maria Hallock, the primary goal of these cells is “to try to keep [the birds] nice and quiet, away from stress.” Only in Canada!