Pie-eyed and bushy-tailed: Minnesota squirrel gets drunk off fermented pears

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Squirrel seen swaying in video after woman put old pears from her fridge in her garden for wildlife to eat

‘In the morning, he came back for his little hangover breakfast and he’s been fine ever since,’ said Katy Morlok.
‘In the morning, he came back for his little hangover breakfast and he’s been fine ever since,’ said Katy Morlok. Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA
‘In the morning, he came back for his little hangover breakfast and he’s been fine ever since,’ said Katy Morlok. Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA
Guardian staff

Last modified on Wed 25 Nov 2020 14.48 EST

A squirrel in Minnesota has enjoyed an early and especially festive start to the holiday season by being videoed apparently drunkenly feasting on pears that had fermented and become alcoholic.

The inebriated squirrel was caught swaying on camera by Katy Morlok of Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota, who had put out an old pear from her fridge in her garden for local wildlife to eat. She saw one of the squirrels – whom she dubbed Lil Red – snatch the pear and take it up a tree.

An hour later, Lil Red returned apparently the worse for wear, unsteady on its feet but desperate for another round.

“It kind of dawned on me: ‘Oh no, those pears were so old, I bet they fermented,’” Morlok told local station Fox 9.

But the tipsy squirrel seemed to enjoy the pear so much, that Morlok put out some more. A video shows the glassy-eyed squirrel sitting next to the pears, swaying backwards and almost tipping over before grasping on to the edge of the bowl of fruit.

Morlok said she was concerned about the squirrel, but Lil Red was fine the next day.

“In the morning, he came back for his little hangover breakfast and he’s been fine ever since,” she said.

Reports of animals getting drunk from eating over-ripe fruit are actually a relatively common occurrence. They include stories of elephants in Africa, a moose in Sweden and monkeys in St Kitts.