Study shows kangaroo alcoholism on the rise

By Mondo Fernando, Staff Reporter


MELBOURNE – A new study released from the Australian Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration says kangaroos are drinking more heavily and more frequently than ever before.


The report surveyed thousands of kangaroos from Australia’s savannahs, prairies, and grasslands from January to June 2008. A staggering 72 percent said they’ve spent a night in the drunk-tank during in the last five years.


“Having drunken kangaroos hopping around the countryside is not only a public safety hazard, but also harmful to our tourism industry,” Carolyn Beaton of the Australian Wildlife Authority said, referring to a recent case where a kangaroo violently attacked a tourist while on safari.


With the Australian Federal Police imposing stricter penalties on bars that serve the fuzzy jumpers, many of the nation’s estimated 7500 alcoholic kangaroos are turning to other animals for alcohol.


Asked about the source of alcohol, 40 percent they got it from wombats or koalas, which aren’t subject to the same prohibition laws. About one in ten said they got it from a crocodile, one in 16 got it from a fellow kangaroo disguised as a human.


Roughly 4 percent admitted to brewing moonshine in their pouches.


“In far too many instances other animals directly enable kangaroos’ drinking – in essence encouraging them to risk their health and well-being,” said acting Surgeon General Steven K. Galson.


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