Death by Balloon

Balloon DeathAnother Facebook post came across my feed yesterday, about an honorary mass balloon release.  I know these are done with good intentions, but folks don’t think of the impact. They don’t think about what happens when the balloons come down.

The most minor impact is the litter factor.  I don’t know how many balloons we’ve picked up at The SnK.  Now, I’m not blaming all of these on intentional balloon releases, as I know balloons gets loose once in a while.  I lost ’em as a kid, and my kids have lost them, never intentionally, though.

Let’s face it, when balloons come down, balloons become litter.  BalloonsBlow.org’s article  Impacts on Wildlife & the Environment, states it well. 

“Some states and countries have enacted laws regarding the release of balloons. The Balloon Council, and other balloon industry entities, spend millions of dollars lobbying to keep balloon releases legal. This multi-billion dollar industry encourages consumers to litter with their product. Releasing balloons should be included in already existing litter laws, after all, it’s simply littering.”

 I don’t know about other folks, but I’ve never given permission for folks to litter our place.  Never have, never will.  Have you?

Litter aside, wildlife death and injury is the major impact of these releases.  Wildlife spend most of their lives hunting for food and in doing so, mistake litter for just that.  Numerous dead animals have had autopsies reveal debris in their digestive tracks.  Many times it’s balloons, resulting in strangulation or starvation.

Per OneGreenPlanet.org’s article, How Balloon Releases Harm Wildlife,

“Sea turtles are especially vulnerable. Jellyfish are a common prey item and often the animals consume deflated balloons floating on the water’s surface, thinking they are a suitable food source. This leads to stomach or intestinal blockages and eventual starvation.”

Swallowed balloons are not the only cause of death and injury.  Most balloons released have a string, cord, or ribbon attached.  These simple materials are also known to cause death and injury.  These materials have been found wrapped around necks and lodged in throats, both causing strangulation.  Animals have been found tangled in ribbons, preventing them from foraging, or fleeing prey.

I’ll bet folks who release balloons never think about the possibilities; that a balloon they are about to release just might kill a sea turtle, or a bird, or another precious animal.  If folks did think about the harmful possibilities, I’d bet that we’d find less wildlife suffering from Death by Balloon.

More information can be found at the following URL’s:

http://balloonsblow.org/impacts-on-wildlife-and-environment/

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/…/how-balloon-releases-harm-…/

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/animalsandnature/how-balloon-releases-harm-wildlife/

http://www.mcsuk.org/downloads/pollution/dont%20let%20go.pdf

Please help our wildlife buddies, please don’t release balloons, and spread the word on the harm that balloons cause.

 

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