2 Vultures Thought to be 'Actively Dying' Were Actually 'Too Drunk to Fly,' Says Rehabilitation Center

A pair of birds discovered in Connecticut apparently had too much to drink from a dumpster

<p>A Place Called Hope</p> A pair of vultures in Connecticut that were found to be intoxicated

A Place Called Hope

A pair of vultures in Connecticut that were found to be intoxicated

A pair of vultures in Connecticut were found "unable to balance [or] stand" and "kept passing out" earlier this month, before an animal shelter determined the birds were actually drunk.

On April 9, A Place Called Hope of Killingworth, Conn., shared to Facebook that, along with Watertown Animal Control, it "suspected the worst" for the two vultures, who were found in the area "literally drunk" after apparently dumpster diving and drinking "something that was fermented enough to cause severe intoxication."

Those who tended to the animals didn't know the cause at first, and even considered that they were "actively dying."

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"Watertown Animal Control and all of us at APCH suspected the worst... We were all very confused until the details of their story fell into place which eventually confirmed our suspicions after ruling everything else out," A Place Called Hope, which specializes in treating birds, noted.

"We ran every test and in the end, they were too drunk to fly. They only needed fluids and to be tucked in overnight... and fed a BIG breakfast the next day."

<p>A Place Called Hope</p>

A Place Called Hope

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As the rehabilitation center noted, the vultures "returned home today before our Center could be labeled a 'detox' facility."

Photos of the birds, shared to Facebook, show them confused in crates before they returned back to the wild, where they "immediately joined up with their colony."

"Your cocktail fruit that ends up in a dumpster can end up intoxicating wildlife if the dumpster is not kept closed," A Place Called Hope added. "Birds don't let other birds fly drunk... this dynamic duo had each other's backs, but I don't know if any lessons were learned on their end."

"Quite the story! and drunk vultures are not easy patients, just sayin'."

The rehabilitation center later shared a clip of the birds returning to the woods — "now sober" — where they could be seen adorably flying off to sit on a branch together. "Thanks team for getting these two back out there! Enjoy watching the now sober Black Vultures go free."

This isn't the first time a bird has gotten too drunk to stand straight. The National Audubon Society has previously noted that intoxication in our flying friends can be caused by birds eating fermented fruit, with the non-profit encouraging readers to let a rehabilitator know if they spot a drunk bird — as the animals likely need to a place to sleep off the effects.

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