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Over 100 birds die after getting intoxicated by eating ants

By Mason White 12:12 PM August 1, 2013
Birds illustration 

By: Sarah Weiss
(Scroll down for video) More than one hundred birds were found dead after they became intoxicated by eating too many ants, according to a statement released by British scientists.

The seagulls have been found dead in lake Devon, which is located in the United Kingdom.

The birds were found in Wistlandpound Reservoir in Devon, and when the water has been shown to be safe, security officers believe that the birds could have gotten intoxicated on ants before falling into the lake.

The population of flying ants have jumped during the recent heat wave and the insects contain formic acid, which for the birds it acts as alcohol.

A South West Water spokesperson said: “We believe this is a phenomenon of the current environmental conditions, and not something to do with the reservoir.”

Local resident Viv Gregory said the scene reminded him of Alfred Hitchcock’s movie “The Birds”. He said: “When I started to drive down the hill, the dead seagulls were all over the place.”

Dr. Rebecca Nesbit, an entomologist with the Society of Biology, said that formic acid in ants are not so good for birds, which could leave them a little drunk.

She said that could explain why they were not flying away when vehicles approached.
Experts also believe that the increase in seagull attacks on humans could also be due to them getting drunk on flying ants.
Locals have reported seagulls causing noise pollution, assaulting people and even stealing food from people’s hands.