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WV Wildlife: Litter and Wildlife

Litter isn't just ugly; it can be dangerous to our wildlife. (WCHS/WVAH)

There's a lot of wildlife to appreciate here in the Mountain State.

No matter if they swim, fly or walk--we all want to keep our native animals around for a long time.

There's a way you can help with the cause, too--simply don't litter.

WVDNR Public Information Specialist, Art Shomo, says litter can harm our wildlife a number of ways.

"We can all pretty much agree that it's ugly, but it can also harm wildlife. There's four general ways that litter can harm wildlife. One is they think it's food and they will eat it. Another is entanglement, like fishing line or something they get tangled in. Another is entrapment and finally, lacerations or cuts, you know, broken glass that they step on,”, said Shomo.

It can already be tough for these animals out in nature, but with these additional threats--it makes it even more tricky for them.

"Sometimes, the animals will eat some of these things and they think they're full--and so they won't eat regular food. So, basically, they almost starve to death, or malnutrition. These would also just suffocate them, they couldn't breathe, so they die from suffocation. There's a whole variety of problems", said Shomo.

There are simple ways, though, to help our wildlife. Shomo explains.

"One of the most important things is to dispose of your trash property. Put it in a trash receptacle. Also, just recycle, especially the plastics. That's one of the biggest problems with pollution and litter effecting wildlife is plastics. You can also help out with litter cleanups; whether it's through an organized one like adopt a highway, or you can even do your own personal pickups".

As the saying goes, don't be a litterbug. Not only will it help our friends out in nature, but it will also make our state even more beautiful.

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