This Is How Face Masks And Latex Gloves Are Affecting Wildlife
The little bit of respite which nature and animals received during Covid-19 lockdowns has unfortunately quickly being eradicated by an increase in pollution – especially disposable face masks.
Personal protective equipment (PPE) has now become yet another wildlife killer as various cases continue to come to light.
In one example, The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) in the UK highlighted how a seagull in Chelmsford became entangled by a face mask.
“I went out to catch him and when he tried to hop away he would stumble and fall,” said Adam Jones, an RSPCA inspector.
“As soon as I caught him it was clear to see why as the poor thing had a disposable Covid face mask tangled around both legs,” he added.
Jones went on to explain how the mask’s elastic band had tightened around the bird’s legs, causing its joints to become swollen and sore.
Fortunately though for this particular bird, it responded well to being rescued and is currently rehabilitating at the South Essex Wildlife Hospital. It’s expected to be released back into the wild soon, together with some other gulls.
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“When the group is ready, they’ll all be released together,” Jones said.
Do we never learn, or do humans just not care?
The problem is that such cases are not isolated and are becoming increasingly common as humans fail to adequately dispose of our used masks and other PPE.
As one person on Twitter put it:
“4th tweet I’ve seen re birds with masks wrapped around their legs – others about how many are ending up in the oceans and countryside. They are going to cause so much damage and loss of life – do humans never learn? We are the most intelligent and yet the most stupid species.”
4th tweet I’ve seen re birds with masks wrapped around their legs -others about how many are ending up in the oceans and countryside. They are going to cause so much damage and loss of life – do humans never learn ? We are the most intelligent and yet the most stupid species.
— Lentil (@LentilUK) August 9, 2020
Another negative side effect of the worldwide Covid-19 lockdowns has been a decrease in recycling and an increase in single-use plastic.
Read more: THIS IS WHAT PLASTIC DOES TO OCEAN LIFE, IT IS INSANE
IMAGE FEATURED: Daniel Garcia Mendoza, & RSPCA