Cases of wild animals getting drunk are widespread. There are cases of African elephants getting drunk after eating overripe fruits of the marula tree. There are also cases of monkeys stealing food & drinks from tourists because of their fondness for sugar & alcohol.
What is the reason behind this?
Earlier, Scientists had concluded that elephants cannot eat enough fermented fruits to get drunk because they are so large.
But this University of Calgary research shows, that elephants are deficient in one thing which breaks down ethanol, ADH7 gene.
The research discovered that many of them did not share the variation for rapid ethanol breakdown, and numerous mammals—including African and Asian elephants—did not even have a functional ADH7 gene. Even mammoths, a relative of the extinct elephant, lacked one.
The mammals who have lost the ADH7 gene have one thing in common: they don’t typically consume a lot of fruit; instead, they eat meat, grass, and other types of foliage (beavers, elephants), or they graze on other animals (cows, horses, sheep, and goats) (dogs, sea lions, whales and dolphins).