Last year we received a worrying 7,704 calls about animals caught up in, or injured by litter. This adds up to a staggering average of 21 litter related calls a day.
With the Great British Spring Clean 2018 just over a month away, we’ve chosen a few of our rubbish related rescues to illustrate how hazardous not picking up litter can be. All the animals below had lucky escapes, but a lot of the stories we see have much more serious consequences. Cleaning up really can have a huge impact!
Fox in a can
This little fox cub got her head stuck in a rusty old baked bean tin. Despite being completely blindfolded by the can, she was still racing around determined not to be caught. Animal Collection Officer Kirstie Williams had quite a job getting hold of her!
The vixen – who was thought to be only around eight weeks old – was named Beanie after the tin she was found in. After some veterinary treatment, which included shaving her head around her ears to treat her injuries, Beanie was rehabilitated by The Fox Project wildlife hospital in Tunbridge Wells.
Peanut buttered cat
This plucky kitten was after a tasty treat, and ended up stuck in a jar of peanut butter. Luckily the kitten was spotted by a member of the public, who called us out to help.
When our inspector Jamie Godfrey arrived on the scene, the cat was lying in a heap with frost in his fur. Inspector Godfrey wrapped the cat in a towel and cut away the thick plastic jar. Thankfully the kitten was uninjured, but the situation could have been a lot more serious.
An unlucky gull
This young gull was left unable to eat or use his beak properly, when he got the jagged end of a can stuck around his beak. The exhausted bird was lucky to end up in a garden in Bodmin, Cornwall, where a member of the public spotted him and quickly called us out to help.
The gull was very underweight, and may well have starved to death if he hadn’t been found when he was. Luckily Animal Welfare Officer Simon Kite was able to remove the can and transport the gull to a nearby vet where he recovered from his injuries and was released.
She’s bin trapped!
It’s not just throwing away litter that’s important – it’s how you throw away and store your waste too. Although this photo (which was taken at the scene) isn’t too clear, this kitten has her head trapped in a hole at the bottom of a bin! A member of the public found the cat after hearing mysterious meowing, and alerted us.
The kitten was so tightly stuck that Animal Collection Officer Cara Gibbon had to call out the fire service to help. The kitten was freed, and thankfully he was uninjured. But we advise to everyone to keep their bins shut and secure, to avoid any more cat-tastrophes.
Seal injured by frisbee
This adult female grey seal was spotted with a yellow frisbee embedded in her neck. She was caught by Friends of Horsey Seals and taken to our East Winch Wildlife Centre for treatment.
As well as injuries from the frisbee, the seal (who was named ‘Frisbee’ by staff at the animal centre), was extremely emaciated. It looked like she might have had the frisbee stuck round her neck for up to six months, holding her back from being able to eat and drink normally. Luckily she was found in time, and is receiving the care and medical attention she needs.
Do your bit to clean the country
We’re proud to be supporting the Great British Spring Clean 2018, which is running over the weekend 2-4 March. On the Keep Britain Tidy website you can sign up to a spring clean that’s been planned near you – or even organise your own!
You can read more information and advice about litter and how it affects pets and wildlife on our website.