National park rangers in Turkey came to the rescue of a young bear that had become intoxicated on something known locally as 'deli bal', or 'mad honey'.
As The Guardian reports, the brown bear was spotted dazed and delirious on a mountainside. She was rescued by local people, then taken by park rangers to receive veterinary attention. A video recorded in the rangers' truck shows the bear sitting upright and looking disoriented, but officials have since reported that she is in good condition and will probably be released back into the wild very soon.
Deli bal is produced in small quantities by a handful of beekeepers in the Kaçkar mountains above the Black Sea, and the foothills of the Himalayas. It is made by bees using nectar from rhododendron ponticum, a flower native to these areas. The flowers produce a neurotoxin called grayanotoxin that can give humans a feeling of euphoria when the reddish honey is consumed.
Use of the substance has been recorded as far back as 401BC, and it's traditionally taken in small quantities as a treatment for hypertension, diabetes, and stomach diseases.
However, excess consumption can cause dangerously low blood pressure, an irregular heartbeat, nausea, fainting, seizures, and even death. Modern Farmer reports that serious cases of deli bal poisoning occur every few years, often in tourists visiting Turkey,
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Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 15 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better), usually wearing at least two sports watches.