Trippy Skippy

By DeusExMacintosh

Australian wallabies are eating opium poppies and creating crop circles as they hop around “as high as a kite”, a government official has said.

Lara Giddings, the attorney general for the island state of Tasmania, said the kangaroo-like marsupials were getting into poppy fields grown for medicine. She was reporting to a parliamentary hearing on security for poppy crops.

Australia supplies about 50% of the world’s legally-grown opium used to make morphine and other painkillers.

“The one interesting bit that I found recently in one of my briefs on the poppy industry was that we have a problem with wallabies entering poppy fields, getting as high as a kite and going around in circles,” Lara Giddings told the hearing.

“Then they crash,” she added. “We see crop circles in the poppy industry from wallabies that are high.”

Rick Rockliff, a spokesman for poppy producer Tasmanian Alkaloids, said the wallaby incursions were not very common, but other animals had also been spotted in the poppy fields acting unusually.

“There have been many stories about sheep that have eaten some of the poppies after harvesting and they all walk around in circles,” he added.

BBC News


  1. Posted August 3, 2011 at 5:34 am | Permalink

    An addicted biota! (Apparently Koalas are not stoned, however: pity, it made a great story.)

  2. Posted August 3, 2011 at 6:06 am | Permalink

    Maybe the wallabies and sheep are smarter than they look … “Recreational use” usually correlates with mental complexity.

    Sheep of course, are smart in only one thing, I reckon, knowing exactly how to frustrate you by /almost/ going where you want them, then bolting somewhere else. (Maybe a hangover from being prey)

    Wondering if animal rescue have to do much work with constipated fauna.

  3. RipleyP
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    Crop circles made by drugged fauna. I am trying to get my mind to imagine those wonderfully complex (and human built) crop circles in the poppy field but I really just getting a small section of flattened plants and giggling roo’s.

  4. AJ
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    Apparently sheep are smart:

  5. Posted August 3, 2011 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    Where did you get the picture DEM, that wallaby looks mighty shitfaced.

  6. Posted August 3, 2011 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    I like to see what happened if you darted all the wallabies with naloxone/nalorphine, which bind tightly to the opiod receptors, but don’t turn them on (if you are full of naloxone, no matter how much heroin you stick in, no high. It’s the sort of thing you give to opiate ODs – waking very quickly, very straight, and annoyed).

    This would show whether they were after the taste/sustenance or the high.

  7. Posted August 3, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    [email protected] Sheep may be brighter than we think, but they are additively stupid (i.e., the more sheep you have, the more stupid they are). You don’t realise what an insult “like a mob of bloody sheep” is until you have to deal with a mob of sheep.

  8. Posted August 3, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    Orwell was definitely right about pigs being smart; smart and cunning…

  9. Posted August 3, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    Ah, but he’d obviously never met Welsh Valleys sheep (bred over thousands of years to be self managing in effect – think of a wombat with leg extensions and some fleece). Smart, cunning and absolutely evil. They will stand in the middle of the road and make you wait BECAUSE THEY CAN!

  10. conrad
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    Depends on the type of sheep — I think there is a huge variation. I believe Scottish sheep will walk on top of each other to get over barriers, which means they know how to cooperate for a purpose, not just be, well, sheep.

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