Imagine sneaking off to have a quick puff and coming face-to-face with a 100 kg tiger?
Cannabis was so mainstream in 2019, even animals were using it. Whether they were stealing it, medicating with it or guarding it, pet owners and veterinarians alike weighed in on the potential benefits and risks of pot for cats and dogs.
But what about the non-domesticated members of the animal kingdom? Well, they too were well-represented in the wild world of weed in 2019.
Here are three of our favourite stories.
Crouching tiger, hidden dagga
Imagine sneaking off to a hidden smoke spot to have a quick puff and coming face-to-face with a 100 kg striped orange cat? That’s what happened to a man in Houston, Texas in February when he decided to dip into an abandoned house for a spliff —as one does.
Upon realizing that the cat was a) not Garfield and b) he was not hallucinating, he called authorities – who were understandably skeptical of the stoned man’s story.
But when police arrived they were greeted by a female tiger, who was living in the home’s unlocked garage in a cage cops described as “rinky-dink.” The poor tiger was rescued and transferred to a facility with experience caring for exotic pets. And the unnamed man lived to smoke another day (hopefully in the safety of his own home).
Belgian pot python
Belgian police got the shock of their lives this year when they arrived to raid an illicit cannabis grow and discovered a giant snake slithering around the sativa plants. The four-metre-long sssecurity guard was eventually apprehended after police called for backup, and a group of five firefighters caught the rogue reptile.
The serpent was brought to an exotic animal sanctuary, where she was identified as a female Burmese python, one of the largest species of snake on the planet.
Wildlife workers noted that the three-year-old stoner snake still had room to grow, as the breed can reach up to seven metres. Although some are legal to own in Belgium, reptiles don’t tend to fare well in captivity, so the python’s new digs at the sanctuary are likely a major upgrade; unfortunately, though, she’ll probably have to stay out of the weed from here on out.
Wild horses couldn’t drag weed away
An equine mystery in Iceland was solved in 2019 after years of sleuthing by an attentive horse lover. Associate veterinarian Mia Hellsten observed a group of horses demonstrating symptoms such as poor balance, shaking, and major appetite increases. While authorities initially suspected a neurological illness was the cause of the symptoms, the diagnosis didn’t quite fit with their lack of lethargy and healthy appetites.
As it turns out, the hungry, hungry horses had the munchies thanks to chowing down on cannabis while roaming wild in Icelandic fields. The horses have made a full recovery, but like their scaly Belgian friend, will now be staying off the grass.
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Written by Emma Spears