Raccoons in Ontario neighborhood getting drunk off fermented fruit

By Ben Hooper
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Sept. 6 (UPI) -- Residents of an Ontario neighborhood captured photos and videos of some unusually behaving raccoons that experts said were likely drunk from eating fermented fruit.

Emily Rodgers said she arrived home Monday to find a raccoon stumbling around oddly in her back yard in the Stittsville area of Ottawa.


"He couldn't really move. He was dragging his legs, he was wobbling, having a hard time standing up. You could tell something was wrong with him for sure," Rodgers told CBC News.

Another area resident, Julie Fong, said a bylaw officer came to her door Sunday asking to go into her back yard to look for a raccoon spotted in the area that witnesses said appeared intoxicated.

"So that's why this guy was kind of sleeping it off under our deck," Fong said. "There was a drunk raccoon under our deck."

Michael Runtz, a biology professor at Carleton University, said the raccoons are likely getting drunk off fermented fruit.

"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," he said.

Runtz said the best thing to do is to leave the raccoons to sober up on their own.


"Don't try to give them coffee and get them sobered up, just let them go their course," Runtz said. "If you're really concerned about the animal, call ... some of the animal control officers to come have a look at it."

Police in Milton, W.Va., said in November 2018 that some raccoons spotted acting strangely in the area had prompted numerous calls about potentially rabid animals, but the raccoons turned out to be drunk from eating fermented crab apples.

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