Nowadays, people have become more aware of the consequences that littering has upon wildlife and animal habitats. Sadly, it has been estimated that by 2050, there will be more litter in the ocean than actual animals.
If we are serious about endeavouring to make the planet a better place for both humans and animals to live in, it is crucial that we pay attention to how we deal with our trash.
Littering can have a devastating impact on wildlife, especially wild birds. Below, we have set out a few examples of the consequences of litter for animal life.
The size of plastic and animal life
The RSPCA normally has to deal with around 14 calls a day that are about animals being hurt by litter. Overall, this could equate to around 5,000 calls a year.
Litter is extremely dangerous for animals and can cause them a variety of health problems. Plastic bottles, boxes, jars and containers may have originally contained food and drink that may smell good to an animal. The problem comes when an animal gets their head stuck within the plastic. This can lead to cuts, gouges or, sadly, death by asphyxiation.
If you want to try and help animals avoid this fate, and help animals that have already been hurt by this type of litter, one step that you might take is to sponsor an animal sanctuary. That way, you can do your part when it comes to protecting animals. It really is possible to help protect animals in need, without even leaving the comfort of your own home.
Eating plastic bags
Another issue with plastic comes from plastic bags. Whether they are big or small, animals can sometimes confuse plastic bags for food. Therefore, they may try to eat them.
Not only could this put the animal at risk of choking, but if the bag is successfully swallowed, it can cause stomach problems. This can include obstructing the stomach or bowels, which could ultimately be fatal. These problems can also occur if an animal swallows a material that is similar to plastic. This is why it is crucial that you know what you can do to help.
Sharp edges of cans
As many animals look for shelter during the night-time and colder months, it is very likely that they will go for something that resembles a cave. For some animals, they may see a metal can as such a shelter. They may go into the can in order to look for food. Metal cans tend to have very sharp edges, and an animal can easily cut themselves on the metal.
A fishing line that is left out in rivers, lakes or beaches can be a hazard for birds. Birds can be tangled in lines or get attached to the hook. This can be fatal.
Gum and birds
Gum can stick to anything. So, if an animal steps in it, or it gets attached to their fur, this can make movement or flying extremely difficult. The animal will not be able to remove the gum on their own, so they will need human help to get rid of it.
Hopefully, the above will have given you a sense of just how much danger is caused to animals by littering, caused by many humans that may not even stop to think about these risks. Here at Hopefield Animal Sanctuary, we believe strongly in being responsible about the impacts that we have on animal life – and we think you should be just as conscientious.
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