Garbage Impacts All Kinds of Animals

By Heather Patrice Brown, Development Coordinator

Photo By Jaana Shellock
This poor skunk had a plastic cup in his head that CWC staff was able to remove.

In April, California Wildlife Center was surprised to receive a skunk with a plastic cup stuck over his head.  Volunteer Jaana Shellock first noticed the skunk and with guidance from CWC staff, was able to capture it.  CWC supporter Rick Gunderson was kind enough to drive it to CWC for treatment.  Dr. Duane Tom, California Wildlife Center’s Director of Animal Care, restrained the skunk and cut the cup off his head.  Luckily, the cup had not caused any additional injuries, and the skunk was able to be released to where it had been found that same day.

This skunk was very lucky someone noticed him and was able to bring him to CWC for help.  Unfortunately, CWC staff routinely sees wildlife that have been injured or impacted by garbage.  While most of these animals are tend to be marine mammals, land animals are affected too.  Animals investigate food trash and get entangled in or ingest the paper or plastic.  It is important to be conscientious about how garbage is disposed of and make sure trash cans are securely closed so that we can peacefully coexist with our wild neighbors.