(WKBN) — This New Year’s Eve will be the first for Ohioans. set off fireworks legally at home. Wildlife experts have warned about the danger fireworks pose to wildlife, as sales have increased in part because of the change.
Since 1991, Bird in Flight Sanctuary I have taken care of all kinds of injured wildlife, not just birds.
Sanctuary director Heather Merritt says the sanctuary tends to have more injured and dead animals when the fireworks go off.
“A lot of birds roost and a lot of animals sleep at night, and a loud explosion would obviously scare them,” says Merritt.
Merritt says it’s hard to know exactly how many animals have been injured because hearing or seeing fireworks can make them panic. Only record the final result of how the animal was injured.
“If it’s a mammal, it could run out into the street and get run over by a car,” says Merritt. “Birds fly into buildings and other obstacles that get in their way, which could be trees … because birds really aren’t in the right state of mind when they do this.”
Merritt says that when an animal panics, it sets up a fight-or-flight response and usually flees.
“They leave the nest completely and the babies are scared to death,” she says.
This problem can be exacerbated in large cities with tall buildings. Rehabilitation specialists have found dozens of dead birds after fireworks displays in past years, Merritt said.
“They will run into buildings and find lots of dead birds. They may find clusters,” says Merritt.
Food is scarce for wildlife in winter. Merritt also warns that animals can mistake falling debris for food and it can be poisonous.
If you find an injured animal, Birds in Flight will suggest the following: Next steps:
- evaluation Animals on injuries such as shaking, jumping, bleeding, or evidence of dead parents nearby
- activity Carefully remove animals from hazardous environments such as roadways, or call resources such as the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (800-945-3543) or Avian Flight (330-652-3381)
https://www.wkbn.com/news/local-news/wildlife-expert-warns-of-potential-dangers-fireworks-pose-to-animals/ Birds in Flight Sanctuary director Heather Merritt warns of dangerous fireworks poses