Wildlife Are Getting Their Heads Stuck in Our Trash

from Wildlife Promise

I’ve noticed several stories about wildlife with their heads stuck in various containers. It makes me uncomfortable each time. I mean, they’re unable to see, eat, drink or get it off their head. Here’s a recap of stories this past month.

  1. Police free deer’s head from malicious bag of Doritos (although, I don’t think the bag had malicious intent)

    Deer gets head stuck in Doritos bag.

    (Monroe County Sheriff’s Office / AP Photo)

  2. Florida bear rescued after getting head stuck in jar

    “Jarhead” eluded wildlife officials for 10 days before they were finally able to catch him. (Photo from CNN)

  3. Fox With Its Head Stuck In A Jar Approaches 2 Men For Help
    YouTube Preview Image
  4. Minnesota woman frees deer from plastic jar stuck on its head

    Deer has plastic jar stuck on its head.

    (Photo by Janet Murphy / Associated Press)

 

Nothing New

These are just the ones that caught media attention, in one month. There are undoubtedly other similar stories. This also isn’t a new dilemma. A few years ago a squirrel got its head stuck in a yogurt cup and made the news.  Then Buzzfeed compiled a list of 27 different animals with their heads stuck. Granted some of those are pets and not in the wild, but the point remains, they’re getting their heads stuck in our trash. Consistently.

Talking Trash: How to Help

There is hope. Back in 2006, McDonald’s changed the McFlurry container lid to save hedgehogs in Britain after pressure from activists. Unfortunately, we can’t blame companies for the design of containers. Instead the focus should be on people properly disposing of their garbage and recycling. I’ll leave you with this amazing infographic and a few tips to hopefully encourage everyone to consider trash disposal and recycling more carefully.

  • Don’t litter.
  • Store garbage and recycling in wildlife-proof containers.
  • Clean out recyclables (wildlife are attracted to the food remains).
  • Check with your local waste management service to see if there are other ways to help. Some will allow you to keep the lids on containers and/or crush recyclables.
  • Tell us in the comments below how you’re reducing waste!