#Reposting @evelynswildliferefuge -- LITTER HURTS CRITTERS
Animals of all kinds often mistake trash for food or shelter. And unfortunately, wildlife is the main victim when it comes to this situation. Imagine if tons of litter was being tossed into your home. For wildlife, this is the disturbing and dangerous reality of litter.
You may have seen viral videos of an animal like a raccoon walking around with a food jar stuck on its head. While some may find this comical, the end result for many animals is actually no laughing matter. An animal in this situation can suffer from overheating, suffocation, dehydration, starvation, and eventual death from these elements. It is also not equipped to defend itself from a threat.
Litter has many other destructive effects on the animals: ~ Discarded food is prone to quick contamination causing food poisoning thats can be fatal to animals.
~ Broken glass can cut the feet of wild animals. ~ Beer or soda cans have sharp edges and can be a threat to such delicate creatures seeking shelter or a taste of what remains inside.
~ Six pack rings get caught around animals necks and limbs which can hinder movement, dismemberment, or choking death. ~ Plastic bags on the seafloor take 10 to 20 years to decompose and plastic bottles take much longer. An animal killed by ingesting plastic will decompose long before the plastic, allowing the plastic to kill again.
~ Plastic items such as balloons are mistaken as food and become intestinal blockages.
~ Ingested cigarette butts can choke an animal or poison it with toxins.
~ Litter tossed out of car windows onto freeways attracts inquisitive animals. In addition to the hazards posed by the litter, these animals often suffer serious injuries or death from vehicle collisions.
~ Fishing hooks are often injested by pelicans, turtles, seabirds and other aquatic creatures.
~ Fishing nets, fishing line, and abandoned crab pots snare or trap animals. Entanglement can lead to injury, illness, suffocation, starvation, and death.
~ Small lead fishing weights cause seabirds to suffer lead poisoning from ingesting.
The list goes on!