After seagulls from beaches in Southern England which got drunk, it is kangaroos who are acting tipsy. Some kangaroos in southeastern Australia are behaving bizarrely with their heads wobbling and shaking. They are barely able to hop and keep swaying sitting in one place. Some lurch sideways and even topple over. While they appear intoxicated, the marsupials are not, it is a grass that is making them disoriented. Eating the poisonous grass causes neurological damage to the animals putting them off their routine.
Wildlife charities and vets in the state reported that they have been an increase in concern from the public about drunk kangaroos. The grass known as Phalaris aquatica also called canary grass is a genus of pasture grasses which is highly toxic to marsupials, The Guardian reported. Kangaroos that consume the grass can develop a condition known as the phalaris staggers which causes head tremors, a loss of coordination and collapse. In kangaroos, there is no known cure for phalaris staggers.
Here is a video of an affected animal finding it difficult to stand on its legs:
However, it is not clear the ill kangaroos are suffering from phalaris staggers or not. Researchers at Melbourne University are currently conducting tests to understand the problem. The plant is not native to southeastern Australia and was introduced as a pasture crop by farmers. While the grass does not cause phalaris staggers in domestic animals and in fact help to introduce copper into their diet. However, in the recent times, farmers have stopped using the plant. People who spot kangaroos suffering from the illness are encouraged to report it to the local government before calling wildlife charities.