Sunday, February 26, 2017

Don't Let Your Love Story Be Another Creature's Unhappy Ending

This balloon was untangled & recovered from the tree.
If you love them, don't let them go. Hang onto those balloons. What goes up will come down, and when it does, it will be litter and may also kill countless creatures through ingestion, entanglement or strangulation. And let’s not forget the possibility of getting stuck in power lines and the resultant outages. 

This post, which came up in my Facebook feed last night describes an all-to-often seen scenario:
“At Moss Landing today: two women walked up to the edge of the Jetty with 8 heart shaped Mylar balloons. I was hoping they were just going to take a photo but watched in horror and disbelief as they released them to be taken by the wind to the waters of our Marine Sanctuary. Some kind of memorial or celebration? What they thought was positive was actually seriously negative! I let them know kindly that those balloons could end up killing marine life (thousands of turtles, birds and mammals die from balloons every year). Please, please do not release balloons...and share with everyone the tragic consequences balloons visit on beautiful and precious marine life.”
Photo: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
In another a post this morning a friend shared photos showing how he had filled his car with balloons for his son’s birthday. There were photos of some of them floating off into the sky. So pretty to look at, and I could imagine the delight of his son looking at them float away. So potentially deadly to other creatures.

Birds, turtles and other animals commonly mistake balloons for food, which can harm or even kill them. According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, “Sea turtles are especially hit hard as they surface to breathe and eat and commonly eat balloons.”

There are so many ways we can show our love. Our love story shouldn't mean another creature's unhappy ending. 

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