Stoned wallabies blamed for crop circles in Australia
An albino wallaby, named 'Pino', looks out from his mother's pouch at 'Le Cornelle' zoo park in Valbrembo near Bergamo, 28 March 2007. (Getty Images)
August 2nd, 2011
10:18 AM ET

Stoned wallabies blamed for crop circles in Australia

Editor's Note: The following piece comes from Global Post, which provides excellent coverage of world news – importantmoving and odd.

Australian farmers say wallabies are getting stoned on poppy plants and making crop circles as they hop around in an opium-fueled stupor.

The bizarre behavior was reported to a state parliamentary hearing on the security of poppy crops in the southern island state of Tasmania, the BBC reported.

State Attorney General Lara Giddings said the furry marsupials were getting "as high as a kite" and running, or hopping to be more accurate, amok in the state's opium fields.

"We have a problem with wallabies entering poppy fields, getting as high as a kite and going around in circles. Then they crash," she told the hearing.

"We see crop circles in the poppy industry from wallabies that are high."

She said the phenomenon was "one interesting bit that I found recently in one of my briefs on the poppy industry."

About 50 percent of the world's legally-harvested opium, used to make morphine and other painkillers, is grown in Australia, the BBC reported.

Opium is derived from the black resin of the poppy flower. In a more refined form it becomes heroin.

Tasmanian poppy farmer Rick Rockliff said the wallabies were not the only party animals making headaches for producers.

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

Retired Tasmanian poppy farmer Lyndley Chopping described watching wallabies, smaller versions of kangaroos, grazing in his field and then hopping away.

"They'd come back again and they would do their circle work in the paddock," he said, according to the Australian Broadcasting Network.

Rockliff said poppy seeds, commonly used on bread, were nutritious and harmless. It's the seed pods that contain alkaloids which might be intoxicating the wallabies, he said.

"They are, after all, a narcotic and ingested in big amounts it can have an effect," he said.

University of Tasmania animal welfare officer Barry Wells told the ABC said the phenomenon needed to be examined more closely.

But he agreed that if the wallabies are becoming addicted to poppies there would be changes to their behavior. "They might stagger about, they might walk in circles," he said.

But he also cautioned: "They might just be acting in what would appear to be a lethargic way and certainly out of character from what you would expect with wild wallabies."

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Topics: Animals • Odd

soundoff (97 Responses)
  1. Stefan

    Heroin isn't made by just refining opium; that would be morphine. Heroin is made from morphine by chemical synthesis.

    August 3, 2011 at 6:22 pm | Reply
  2. kake79

    What is CNN's deal with Global Post, anyway? And, for that matter, Rolling Stone and Mashable. I mean, I get Sports Illustrated since they're both owned by Time Warner (I don't like it, but I get it). When I come to CNN, it's because I want CNN's news. Oh! Since I'm ranting; stop included iReport crap within the main sections on the front page. If the story wasn't worthy of a real report, then it really wasn't news and I don't need to know about it.

    Ok... sorry guys... didn't mean to blather on.

    August 3, 2011 at 7:08 pm | Reply
  3. Geoff

    When the article states that "In a more refined form [opium] becomes heroin," this is actually incorrect. There is no heroin in opium. Refining is a process of purification, and since there is no heroin in opium, you cannot get heroin from refining opium. The opium must be converted into heroin through a chemical reaction process. Let's just hope the wallabies don't figure that process out or else we are all doomed!

    August 3, 2011 at 7:26 pm | Reply
  4. David

    Here is one better. Congressmen make crap circles.

    August 3, 2011 at 7:35 pm | Reply
  5. killallthewhiteman

    How come when animals do it it is cute or funny. But when I do it it is illegal. Same goes for going to the bathroom in public.

    August 3, 2011 at 8:41 pm | Reply
    • DisgruntledGirl

      Well to be fair, in Australia, they say "Aw how cute" and then turn their teste sacks into lighters.
      I am seriously not making that up. You're safer with an arrest record.

      August 4, 2011 at 9:32 am | Reply
  6. DEA

    arrest those wallabies. nobody escapes the war on drugs!

    August 3, 2011 at 10:52 pm | Reply
  7. goongaze

    Extradite the wallabes to another Australia for their crimes.

    August 4, 2011 at 12:04 am | Reply
  8. Terry Brookman

    They should all be arrested immediately, tried and incarcerated.

    August 4, 2011 at 12:15 am | Reply
  9. Terry Brookman

    Unless they are Republican.

    August 4, 2011 at 12:16 am | Reply
    • GOPisGreedOverPeople

      Yes. That would be normal for a republican. Carry on.

      August 4, 2011 at 9:56 am | Reply
  10. Marine5484

    So why don't the people of Afghanistan run around in circles?......oh wait they do. never mind.

    August 4, 2011 at 4:41 am | Reply
  11. Voiceinthewind

    No it was not the Wallabees, it was my buddies uncle who has raised from the dead to make them, I am sure of it. What a bunch of BS, stories must be hard to come by.

    August 4, 2011 at 7:07 am | Reply
  12. Matt

    Before you know it the wallabies will be sitting in circles getting high and yelling "peace". Probably start a revolution..

    August 4, 2011 at 9:16 am | Reply
  13. DisgruntledGirl

    That's what I thought, Earl – This old chestnut?
    What's next on the news? Neuticles?

    August 4, 2011 at 9:24 am | Reply
  14. JosefBleaux

    Yeah...wallabies...creating crop circles.. um... right, wink wink. In their stupor they "accidentally" make complex mathematical designs. Of course... makes sense to me.

    August 4, 2011 at 10:24 am | Reply
  15. Just ME

    What to do? What to do? CNN is recycling stories? LOL Must be desperate. Can't publish anything about the market falling again? HMMM..Don't want to start another panic on top of the one Obama already started with his wonderful speeches on the US being broke. LOL Got to love this Gov. Do they not read History or Economics? Maybe they toured the fields? You know they had to go check out if there was any Security Issues involved with the Wallabies. It wasn't really Wallabies going around in circles it was the US Lawmakers stoned dressed as Wallabies stealing Australia's stash. Mexico cut them off since the Cartel can't have any more of Holder's Guns! LOLOL

    August 4, 2011 at 10:33 am | Reply
  16. Wallace Wallaby

    Stay tuned. Fox news identifies drugged wallabies as Democrats who follow Obama. More circles seen on satellite. Possibly all marsupials are Democrats.

    August 4, 2011 at 11:29 am | Reply
  17. Republicrat

    What all those who commented above who directly benefit from the Bush tax cuts please raise your hand?.................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................That's what I thought. Take your blinders off and think for yourself.

    August 4, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Reply
    • Republicrat

      Before someone gives me a "C"...I meant Would..not What. :)

      August 4, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Reply
  18. papadales

    Either that, or an army of hedgehogs running round and round in circles.

    August 5, 2011 at 8:47 am | Reply
  19. bentop grease

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    September 23, 2012 at 4:04 am | Reply
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