Parrot party: birds loot opium fields

Parrot party: birds loot opium fields

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Opium farmers in Madhya Pradesh, India lose their crops. Collared and plum-headed parakeets attack the opium poppies that farmers grow for medicinal purposes.

Food or drug?

Both species of parakeets are notorious for swarming into fields of grain and feeding on the seeds. Now the Indian media site NDTV reports: In Madhya Pradesh, farmers alarmed the authorities because the parrots are killing the opium poppies. Naghin Rawar of the local agricultural authority says that the parakeets behave as if they were drug addicts and cannot be driven away or disturbed by loud music.

Birds are waiting for the intoxication

The parakeets wait until the farmers cut open the poppy capsules for final ripening. Then they come in shoals, snap off the capsules from the stems and look for a quiet place to eat them.

Antelope and drug parrot

Farmer Ram Pratap complains: “We have been fighting with antelopes that break into our fields for several years. Now there are the parrots owned by the opium. They are difficult to control. "

Intoxicated animals

Animals use intoxicating substances just like humans. Reindeer eat the toadstool and get “high”, kangaroos eat poppy capsules just like the Indian parakeets and then stagger around in circles.

Party with the puffer fish

Dolphins even harass puffer fish, which secrete the poison tetrodotoxin under stress. Several bottlenose dolphins were filmed bumping and "passing around" one of these fish to get intoxicated with the drug.

Beer and fermented berries

The most common drug use in animals like in this country for people is alcohol. Badgers like foxes grab fermented berries and enjoy the intoxication, hedgehogs lick the beer traps, which are supposed to protect against snails. Veterinarians warn: Pets are at risk of falling into alcoholism.

Economic problem

For the Indian poppy farmers, the party parrots are not funny at all. The swarms come up to 40 times a day and carry off the opium capsules. Some farmers can no longer meet their cultivation quotas. (Dr. Utz Anhalt)

Author and source information

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