leopard potrait

If you think that only humans get high and kick back while listening to some reggae then you’re probably wrong. Many other mammals also seek out hallucinogens to get high, just like humans. Check out these five animals that consume drugs like serious junkies, and learn about their drug habits and addictions.

(Wildnest does not support any kind of substance or drug abuse.)

1. High as a Horse (Drug of choice: Locoweed)

Photo by: Bruce Guenter/Flickr

Horses don’t usually look for locoweed actively to get high, but these are the only plants readily available in ice-cold weather in the mountains. As the name suggests, locoweed is a type of mind-altering legume. It results in vision problems, foaming at the mouthand a lack of bodily coordination. Locoweed is toxic to horses but unfortunately once they develop a taste for it, there is no stopping them. Talk about drug abuse! Many say that locoweed is to horses, what nicotine is to humans.

2. Bighorn Sheep Suck Rocks (Drug of choice: Lichens)

Photo by: Del Brown/Flickr

Bighorn Sheep is found in the North America mountains. They suck on rocks to get high on the yellow-green variety of lichens. If you ever see a mountain sheep licking a rock senseless, you now know what are they up to! These lichens are very rare to find and the bighorn sheep climb dangerous terrains to get to them. They are known to grind their teeth right to the gums to get every last bit off the rocks; you can imagine how much they love it. The lichenhas no nutritional value and is poisonous in excess, which suggests that the sheep feed on them solely to get high.

3.Reindeers on Shrooms (Drug of choice: Mushrooms)

Photo by: Sören Schaper/Flickr

The amanita muscaria mushrooms (also known as shrooms or magic mushrooms) that are red and white in colour might be the truth behind the story of Santa Claus and his flying reindeer. It is a known fact that reindeer and other mammals of similar species seeks out mushrooms and deliberately eat these hallucinogenic fungi. Does not sounds like a bad idea for some amusement in boring cold winters! Many strains of hallucinogenic mushrooms are unfit for human consumption but they’re not poisonous to most herbivores, including the reindeer.

4. Junkie Jaguars in the jungle (Drug of choice: Ayahuasca)

Photo by: Dawn Perry/Flickr

Now, we know that the big cats are hardcore carnivores but once in a while they do “eat grass”. They chew on some leaves and hack them out again; it is to cleanse their digestive systems. Although there is not enough scientific research to back up why they specifically chew upon asyahuasca leaves, but it is believed that the age-old hallucinogen makes their sense sharper and them more lethal and hence helps them be the predators they are. Some scientists even believe that the humans first learnt about the hallucinogenic qualities of the ayahuasca plant by observing jaguars.

5. Marsupials popping fields (Drug of choice: Opium)

Photo by: Scott Calleja/Flickr

Marsupials are mammals that carry their young-ones in a pouch and are typically found in the Australia and New Zealand belt.  Some well-known marsupials are kangaroos, wallabies, koala bears and the possum. Australia is the world’s leading supplier of legal opium to the pharmaceutical industry and has a huge poppy cultivation. There have been repeated cases of kangaroos jumping the fence into poppy fields and popping them till they drop. It is also reported that they are the real reason behind the mysterious crop circles, which are otherwise indebted to aliens. “We have a problem with wallabies entering poppy fields, getting as high as a kite and going around in circles,” the attorney general was quoted in The Mercury newspaper.

About Aditi Angiras

Aditi Angiras is a research scholar and has a Masters in English Literature. She's a poet and can be found at slam jams in Delhi. Likes collecting books, illustrating her poems and hip-hop. She's currently working as a freelance writer/editor to fund her first chapbook.