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Drunk Monkeys – Further Proof of Evolution?

Chimpanzees in West Africa like to drink about as much as humans do. While it’s not certain why the chimps drink, it is an interesting phenomenon.

Palm alcohol is made from the fermented sap of the raffia pine, grown in areas of West Africa. When villagers tap the trees and set up buckets, similar to the early stages of making maple syrup, the chimps take notice. Once humans are not in the area, the chimps return to drink the sap.

You Won’t See A Chimp At The Liquor Store

Like some Caribbean primates who steal tourists’ leftover bottles and drink what’s left, the chimps are drinking the sap being tapped from the palms. The sap has an alcohol level of about 3%, equivalent to a light beer. But, left for a few days the sugars in the sap will ferment raising the alcohol level to about 7%. Taking into account the alcoholic makeup of the sap and the size of chimps, they drink the equivalent of a bottle of wine.

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