They found him there the next morning, passed out. It was clear what had happened as the evidence lay strewn all about him on the front lawn of the Baker Lake Resort. So when Lisa Broxson, bookkeeper for the Baker Lake, Washington resort arrived in the morning for work, she did what you'd expect any normal person to do, she called Sgt. Bill Heinck, the local Fish and Wildlife Agent.
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It seems a bear had gotten into a camper's cooler and had used its teeth and claws to open and drink the beer. But not just any beer, for this was a discriminating bear.
"He drank the Rainier and wouldn't drink the Busch beer," said Broxson.
Heinck said the bear did try one can of Busch, but ignored the rest.
"He didn't like that (Busch) and consumed, as near as we can tell, about 36 cans of Rainier," said Heinck.
Another Agent tried to chase the bear off, but succeeded only in chasing it up a tree where the bear proceeded to sleep it off for another four hours.
"We've all been there before," said the Agent who requested that he remain anonymous.
My In-laws were on their way to church one Sunday morning when they came upon a dead cow in the middle of a shopping center parking lot. It was strange enough to find the cow, dead, in the middle of a Safeway parking lot in Central Florida. But what seemed particularly odd, was that the cow was surrounded by empty beer bottles. Quite a scene.
Now you can look at this like my daughter, who wanted to know if the cow drank itself to death. Or you can take my wife's tact, who commented that it must have been a hell of a party to have involved that much beer and ended in the death of a farm animal. I just want to know what kind of beer it was.
I began to wonder if this was some kind of phenomenon. Was it limited to this country or did other countries struggle with wildlife alcohol abuse? I mean are yaks getting wasted in the Sierra Madras, or tigers cutting loose on rice wine in Penang?
This definitely deserved further research. Forget life on mars. There could be a party going on in a forest near you.
According to the world wide web, animals getting drunk, is a world-wide nuisance. In Sweden, normally a bastion of conservative behavior, drunk and disorderly elks roam the streets come fall after having eaten fermented wild berries. One such miscreant attacked a woman in the village of Karlshamn, in broad daylight no less. Obviously the elk in Karlshamn start partying fairly early in the day.
Moose, too, become belligerent and occasionally attack villagers after eating apples that fall to the ground and ferment, creating what local authorities called "a potent fruit cocktail."
In Guwahati, India, a herd of drunk elephants trampled three people to death after guzzling local rice beer in a village. According to local authorities, "a dozen elephants entered the village of Marongi in Assam state Tuesday and helped themselves to long swigs of rice beer brewing in casks outside the homes of local residents." They then went on a rampage, killing three people, and seriously injuring two others.
Bet they don't invite any elephants to the block party next year.
Even in merry old England, the Queen mother herself is not safe from inebriated animals. The Birmingham Post reported that Matthew King, 28, lost his job as one of the Queen's two personal footmen after it was discovered that he had been adding whisky and gin to Queen's corgis' food and water as 'a party trick.'
Also in England, "a movie boss had apologized for allowing a pig to get drunk on an Irish film set."
I'm really quite surprised this made the news. It was an Irish film.
"Animal rights activists were furious that the pig- which was starring in a new live action version of George Orwell's classic Animal Farm - somehow consumed alcohol during filming."
I had to wonder if the animals right's activists saw the irony here. Of course it was the pig who got drunk. The sheep would never have taken to man's worst vices. Besides, if the pigs were going to wear pants, why shouldn't they have a good snog?
Finally, scientists at Ohio State University have been busy getting bees drunk in order to study the effects of alcohol on human behavior. The study stated that the scientists placed the bees in "harnesses made from pieces of drinking straws." Huh?
Remember that the next time you're complaining about your job. Some guy in Ohio spent his Monday morning trying to get a bee into a harness. I wonder if it was easier or harder to get them out once they were drunk?
It wasn't clear what the scientists expected to find at the conclusion of their study, but they did report that, "the bees who received the most [alcohol] spent the least time grooming, walking or flying. Instead, they spent the most time on their backs."
Well, as the Fish and Wildlife Agent said, "We've all been there before."