Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society

, Volume 22, Issue 1, pp 49–52

Alcohol self-administration by elephants

  • Ronald K. Siegel
  • Mark Brodie

DOI: 10.3758/BF03333758

Cite this article as:
Siegel, R.K. & Brodie, M. Bull. Psychon. Soc. (1984) 22: 49. doi:10.3758/BF03333758


The anecdotal and historical literature describing intoxication in elephants from fermented fruit or alcoholic beverages is reviewed. Seven African elephants readily self-administered 7% unflavored alcohol solutions; the results included separation from herd groupings and changes in the frequency and/or duration of several behaviors as scored according to a quantitative observational system. Alcohol decreased feeding, drinking, bathing, and exploration for most animals. Inappropriate behaviors such as lethargy and ataxia increased for all elephants. Results are discussed in terms of stress-induced drinking and intoxication.

Copyright information

© The Psychonomic Society, Inc. 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ronald K. Siegel
    • 1
  • Mark Brodie
    • 1
  1. 1.Veterans Administration BranchUniversity of CaliforniaLos Angeles

Personalised recommendations