Drunken Parrot Season Begins in Darwin, Australia

Posted on September 27, 2011

Australian Geographic reports that drunken parrot season is underway in Darwin, Australia. The beginning of the wet season (October-November) is also the time period each year when the red-collared lorikeets start acting drunk. Experts do not know exactly what causes the problem. It is believed to be a virus or fermented fruit, with a virus being the most likely explanation.

Darwin vet Dr Stephen Cutter from The Ark Animal Hospital told Australian Geographic, "They exhibit odd behaviour like falling over or difficulty flying [and] they keep running into things."

The birds also lose their natural fear of people. Some of the birds also pass out. Some of the birds brought into shelters with "drunken" symptoms do not survive. The number of afflicted birds has been increasing - from a few birds ten years ago to a few hundred birds last year.

Here is a video showing what happens to the parrots afflicted with the mystery illness that resembles drunkenness. Take a look: