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Desert Diary
Culture/Bad trash


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Isn't the trashcan a wonderful invention? You put your junk in and it disappears—or does it? It's not uncommon to see a trashcan that has lost its lid—and contents—to the wind or a hungry dog, and garbage can easily end up in unexpected places.

Some things will decompose on their own, but what about the rings from a six-pack of soda? Easily blown away by the wind, they can spell horror and a miserable death for unlucky animals. One female mallard not only had rings tangled around her neck, she also had them over her beak and through her mouth, cutting her tongue and preventing her from eating. Some animals can be saved if they are discovered early enough, but alas, most are doomed. Cutting these rings helps prevent animals from getting tangled in them. And flattening soda cans stops curious animals from getting their heads stuck. What may seem funny on a pet is deadly to most animals.

So think about your garbage and take a few simple precautions to protect the animals who share our Chihuahuan Desert!
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Contributor: Kodi R. Jeffery, Centennial Museum, University of Texas at El Paso.

Desert Diary is a joint production of the Centennial Museum and KTEP National Public Radio at the University of Texas at El Paso.



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Animal-friendly Rubbish