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Local bears addicted to huffing helicopter fuel

  1. Rob Cypher
    View attachment 32204 These brown bears in Russia’s far east have developed a habit of sniffing discarded barrels formerly filled with aviation fuel until they pass out.

    The containers were left in the Kronotsky Nature Reserve and the nearby creatures picked on their strong smell of kerosene and gasoline.

    The animals love this smell so much that they have begun deeply inhaling the fumes for minutes at a time before digging shallow holes for themselves to lie in once they’ve achieved their desired state.

    View attachment 32205

    These bears are suspected to be of the largest brown bears in the world, weighing 1,200 pounds. The fuel is used to power generators and helicopters used by nature reserve workers.

    View attachment 32207

    Photos were taken by Igor Shpilenok, 52, who spent seven months documenting this specific community of bears.

    Igor said that some of the bears have become so addicted to these barrels that they stalk deporting helicopters, waiting for them to take off and leave drops of fuel into the hard soil for them to sniff.

    Sean Levinson
    Elite Daily (March 2013 edition)



  1. MikePatton
    Wow, this really shows that the will to alter one's mind is not limited to humans alone. I remember reading something about lab rats volunterally giving themselves electric shocks to get high, and getting addicted to that.
  2. Rob Cypher
    Yeah; most mammals love fermented fruit because of its alcohol content, from rats to chimps.

    I'm guessing the rat in your story had electrodes implanted in their nucleus accumbens; it's the pleasure center of mammalian brains.

    Here it is in the rat (the part labeled NAC):


    And here it is in humans:


    Here's a better explanation from a site that talks about sections of the brain altered in substance abusers, of which the nucleus accumbens is one part of.

  3. Baba Blacksheep
    I remember a news article years ago that was about black bears on the Iberian Peninsular raiding the rubbish for rotten and fermenting fruit on which they were getting quite drunk.
    They became quite a nuisance and had the behavior traits of young teenagers 'on the piss!'
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