A bear cub got high on hallucinogenic ‘mad honey’ — and there’s video

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Like a real-life Winnie the Pooh, a brown bear in Turkey collected honey last week. But unlike the beloved children’s book character, the cubs got as high as a moth on the sweet, golden treat.

Why? It was the hallucinogenic “Mad Honey”, known in Turkey as “Daily Bal”.

of Turkey Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry The bear was rescued Thursday in the country’s northwest Duzse province, about 130 miles east of Istanbul. Other than a bad trip, the female cubs were in good shape after their stint at the veterinary care center.

The bear somehow got its paws on the deli bal, cultivated by beekeepers for centuries in the Black Sea region and the Himalayas. This substance – also known as bitter honey because of its pungent taste – is the result of bees feeding on the pollen of rhododendron flowers. Brightly colored plants contain natural neurotoxins Grayanotoxin Which, when consumed, can lead to euphoria, hallucinations and intoxication – as Bear quickly found out.

In a video shared by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the bear is seen fully bloated. In the back of a pickup truck, she sat on her stomach with her arms and legs spread out in what could only be described as a vertical position. sploot. Her mouth was slightly open. Her eyes widened. For a few seconds, she moved around, dazed and confused.

The clip quickly turned the cub into a local celebrity. After tapping citizens for name ideas, the government agency on Friday identified her as Balkiz – which means “honey girl” or “honey daughter” in Turkish – along with a photo of a half-eaten bear standing on a branch with a watermelon on the ground.

Although Balkiz suffers from symptoms of a mad-honey binge, she is not the first to do so. Thousands of poisonings cases History has been recorded all over the world.

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According to research by the late Texas A&M anthropology professor Vaughan Bryant, one of the earliest records of mad honey comes from Xenophon of Athens, a student of the philosopher Socrates. A Greek historian wrote that in 401 BC the Greek army stumbled upon this substance as the army made its way back from the Black Sea after defeating the Persians.

“They decided to feast on local honey stolen from some nearby beehives. After a few hours the troops began to vomit, had diarrhoea, became restless and could not stand; The next day the results were gone and it was off to Greece,” Bryant said In 2014 News release.

Other armies were not nearly as fortunate. About 334 years later, Roman soldiers led by Pompey the Great fell upon a honeytrap set by the Persian army, which “collected pots full of local honey and left them for the Roman army to find,” Bryant said. “They ate honey, they became distracted and could not fight. The Persian army returned and killed more than 1,000 Roman soldiers with some losses of their own.”

Centuries later, Union troops encountered hallucinogenic honey near the Appalachian Mountains during the Civil War. Like the Greeks and Romans before them, the Americans became confused and sick, Bryant said.

However, crazy honey is incredibly hard to come by, parents Reported. Rhododendrons, which produce the essential neurotoxin, are found in a few locations and are most abundant in the Black Sea Mountains and the foothills of the Himalayas. Harvesters have to go a long way to get the red tinted goop — climbing tall trees and rocks and often dodging one of the largest species. bees in the world. However, the returns on those risks are huge. A pound of crazy honey can go for about $170, Bryant said. In Turkey, a pound of potent, high-quality Deli Bal can sell for up to 2,000 lira, or about $111, making it one of the most expensive honeys in the world, the Guardian noted.

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The price also reflects the medicinal value some people attribute to bitter-tasting honey. It is often recognized as a natural remedy for conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, gastrointestinal disorders, arthritis and sore throat. Some also use it as an aphrodisiac or as a treatment for erectile dysfunction, according to 2018. Report Published in the scientific journal RSC Advances.

But too much honey can land people — and bears — in the hospital. Bees that produce mad honey are highly immune. For all other animals, substances can produce distracting effects, although they usually last less than 24 hours.

On Friday, Balkiz was released back into the wild near the Balkans – a region known as the “Land of Honey and Blood”.

Turkish Agriculture and Forestry Minister Vahit Kiriski wrote on Twitter, “Congratulations to the beautiful girl who won all our hearts. An accompanying video shows a brown cub coming down a grassy hill.

“She should eat everything in moderation, even honey,” Kirisi added.

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