we explain the phenomenon to you, and why you should not intervene

Every spring, when nature wakes up, the buds delight wildlife, especially deer. In Haute-Saône, this was the case in the last days of April.

Three drunk deer. In Angirey in Haute-Saône, the trio was observed several times on the municipal road, reports Est Républicain (paid article) this Friday, April 29. These animals wandered about disoriented. A well-known seasonal phenomenon in the countryside. In this small commune of Haute-Saône, it must be said that the fauna is very present. “Deer, we are used to seeing them, we have a lot of game, wild boar also in the woods. Drunk deer, at that time, it is not an extraordinary phenomenon” relativizes Chantal Faradon, mayor of this small town of 150 inhabitants, not used to being talked about in the newspapers!

In other regions of France, the drunkenness of the chamois is recounted in the various news items. In Vernon in the Eure, Friday April 15, a deer found itself in the parking lot of the CHU. The latter would have crossed the Seine by swimming before ending up in the city center. The animal was taken care of by the municipal police.

Near Reims, an animal photographer crossed paths with two somewhat tipsy deer in the small town of Arcy-le-Poinsart. “They were completely panicked and lost. They were trying to cross a fence by butting their heads in it” relates the latter.

To be consumed in moderation, says the ad! Better than the reserve of a bass, the buds of spring have effects on animals that consume too much of them. “All buds are high in sugars and juices. It is a concentrate of tree sugars. It is a food with high fermentation power, and when eaten in quantity, it causes temporary intoxication” explains Gilles Moyne, director of the Athénas center in the Jura, specializing in the rescue of wildlife. “It is the process of fermentation in the rumen, it occurs in ruminants” he recalls. And all young buds, not just fir buds, can make a deer or kid goat drunk!

A deer showing these “symptoms” of drunkenness, “you can see them in broad daylight running around in a disorderly way, they are disoriented and can be a little euphoric!”says Gilles Moyne.

The Athénas wild animal care center near Lons-Le-Saunier in the Jura receives calls every spring for drunken deer. People sometimes find themselves with a slightly tipsy deer in their garden. “You have to leave them alone, don’t stress them, don’t intervene” he said. “A deer is always close to an environment it knows well, it will return there. We dissuade people from wanting to catch the animal, a deer with its antlers and hooves can hurt humans” alert Gilles Moyne. If the animal is not in danger, if humans are not in danger, we must let nature take its course.

In the spring of 2016, the Jura gendarmes had to call for help. They had received the visit in their barracks of Lons-le-Saunier, of a drunk deer, which had appreciated the place. It took the intervention of agents from the national hunting and wildlife office to capture the animal. The deer had abused the buds, according to the gendarmes.

Because these drunken animals, if they smile, can cause road accidents.

The foundation also recalls that the loss of natural landmarks is not due solely to the ingestion of euphoric plants: in this season, young deer leave their mother to set off to conquer a territory. Some deer are found far from their habitat, sometimes near houses, in cities.

In Franche-Comté, where the chamois is more and more visible, in the mountains, but also in the green plain, the spring season gives rise to some comical scenes. This amateur filmed this scene a few years ago. Chamois in great shape no doubt after an uncontrolled consumption of buds.

On the Jura massif, the chamois is particularly attracted by the green, tender and sweet fir buds from which man also makes excellent liqueurs. Not mad the beast!

Do you feel dizzy after three glasses of champagne? Normal, you are a mammal and therefore more or less sensitive to alcohol.

In mammals, all can be drunk, like monkeys, squirrels… after consuming fermented fruits for example. Drunk birds can also get drunk when they gorge themselves on too many berries. “Hence the phrase: “drunk as a thrush!”. And soon perhaps that of “drunk as a deer in the spring”?!

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