Watch CBS News

Vultures feared to be dying were just "too drunk to fly"

Pair of vultures "too drunk to fly" after dumpster diving in Connecticut
Pair of vultures "too drunk to fly" after dumpster diving in Connecticut 00:45

KILLINGWORTH, Conn. - Animal rescuers "suspected the worst" when they encountered a pair of black vultures in very rough shape earlier this month in Connecticut. But it turns out these two feathered friends just had too much to drink.

A Place Called Hope, which treats injured birds of prey, responded to help the sick vultures with Watertown Animal Control.

"Literally drunk"

"They were literally drunk," the wildlife rehabilitators said. "Unable to balance, stand, kept passing out or in our eyes, actively dying... we ran every test and in the end, they were too drunk to fly."

Animal rescuers say a pair of vultures got too drunk to fly.  A Place Called Hope

After "ruling everything else out," the rescuers determined that the vultures had likely been dumpster diving the day before the eclipse and "getting themselves into something that was fermented enough to cause severe intoxication."

"They only needed fluids and to be tucked in overnight ... and fed a BIG breakfast the next day," the organization said.

Vultures released back to their colony

Video posted the next day showed the pair had indeed slept it off, as they were able to fly away and rejoin their colony. 

Thanks team for getting these two back out there! Enjoy watching the now sober Black Vultures go free.

Posted by A Place Called Hope on Tuesday, April 9, 2024

The rehab facility said the incident can serve as a reminder to people to make sure dumpsters are kept closed, as some fermented fruit cocktails can have harmful effects on wildlife.

"Birds don't let other birds fly drunk," A Place Called Hope said. "This dynamic duo had each other's backs, but I don't know if any lessons were learned on their end."

Black vultures are a common sight in Connecticut all year round, according to the state's Audubon Society. They can be seen scavenging roadkill on the highway or searching for food at landfills. 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.