Shocking pictures show how our rubbish can endanger wildlife

A young hedgehog with a hose attachment round its head.
A young hedgehog with a hose attachment round its head.

Seals engulfed in netting and a little hedgehog with its head stuck in a hose attachment – these sickening pictures paint the grim reality of the damage that human rubbish is having on wildlife.

Animal lovers are using these images – taken in the North East, including Northumberland – to highlight the dangers that plastic and other debris can have on our natural world.

This seal died after being entangled in plastic.

This seal died after being entangled in plastic.

The devastating impact of plastic pollution has been thrust into the national and worldwide spotlight, thanks to programmes such as the recent BBC One documentary, Drowning in Plastic.

And local wildlife campaigners are once again trying to raise awareness about the impacts of dumped or not-properly-disposed-of waste and are encouraging people to take action.

Jane Hardy, from Alnwick, is a volunteer marine mammal medic for the British Divers Marine Life Rescue and has had to help wildlife which has been troubled by litter.

Reflecting on the situation at beaches, she said: “I get disheartened with seeing debris on beaches, particularly as I clean them.

A bird entangled in netting.

A bird entangled in netting.

“Litter varies. It can be discarded fishing gear or litter from people too lazy to take home, such as wrappers and plastic bags and other items such as plastic toys, buckets and spades. Please dispose of your rubbish considerably.”

A stricken seal.

A stricken seal.

This bird had to be rescued.

This bird had to be rescued.

A seal caught up in netting.

A seal caught up in netting.