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Intoxicated Vultures in Connecticut Found “Too Drunk to Fly,” Not Dying

In Killingworth, Connecticut, a pair of black vultures initially thought to be gravely ill were actually suffering from a severe hangover. A Place Called Hope, a rehabilitation center for birds of prey, along with Watertown Animal Control, responded to reports of the distressed birds earlier this month.

Intoxication Incident

“It appeared they were literally drunk,” the wildlife rehabilitators described. The vultures were struggling with balance and consciousness, which led the rescuers to initially fear the worst. “They couldn’t balance, stand, or fly without passing out – we feared they were dying… but after exhaustive testing, it turned out they were simply too intoxicated to fly.”

The rehabilitation team concluded that the vultures had probably indulged in fermented waste while rummaging through a dumpster prior to the eclipse, leading to their inebriated state. “All they required were some fluids and a safe space to sleep it off. By the next morning, after a hearty breakfast, they were ready to go,” the center shared.

Safely Returned to Nature

A video released the following day by the rehab center showed the vultures flying back to their colony, having fully recovered from their ordeal. The facility used this incident to remind the public about the importance of securing dumpsters. “Fermented food waste can create potent fruit cocktails that have detrimental effects on wildlife,” they noted.

A Place Called Hope also humorously added, “Birds don’t let other birds fly drunk. This dynamic duo had each other’s backs, although it’s uncertain if they learned any lesson.”

In Connecticut, black vultures are prevalent year-round and are often spotted feeding on roadkill or scavenging at landfills, as noted by the state’s Audubon Society. This incident highlights the unexpected challenges wildlife can face in urban environments.

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