Enjoy the Great Outdoors – But Be Mindful of Wildlife

March 10, 2022

With the spring and summer months upon us and people enjoying our waterways at the Jersey shore, and the backyards of the great Garden State, we prepare ourselves at AHS/Popcorn Park for the injured wildlife calls.  Sadly, we have grown accustomed to the calls for injured swans, ducks and seagulls tangled in fishing gear, and snakes and other garden critters caught in sticky situations.  Our Animal Control Officers have become real pros at untangling the foul-hooked fowl, and freeing the snakes that unknowingly slither right through a patch of garden fencing, but we sure wish these creatures didn’t have to suffer at all.  How can you help?  Read on….

Accidents are bound to happen while fishing, crabbing, etc.  Lines get stuck on the bottom and have to be cut, and sinkers and hooks break off and end up in the bottom of the bay, with lots of monofilament line attached.  Those are accidents, but we can, however, prevent our waterways from becoming polluted even further by properly disposing of fishing gear.  Bring a bag or container along with you to keep hooks, lines, and sinkers in when you need to change them and dispose of them properly.  We have countless stories of swans, seagulls, ducks, and other water birds being so severely entangled or hooked in fishing gear.  In one case, a seagull lost his leg completely to fishing line that choked off the blood supply.  In other cases, swans had hooks stuck through their beaks, necks, and wrapped through their wings. 

While some people may screech at the sight of a snake in their yard the truth is, most snakes are completely harmless and non-aggressive, and they’re good for the environment too.  Call after call comes in particularly during summer months while residents are gardening, and spot a snake that isn’t moving in the garden, and has not moved for a while.  Last summer, many of the snake calls involved snakes being trapped in garden fencing.  In one case, the snake was stuck for more than three days!  The thin, netting fences are the most dangerous for snakes and other small animals passing by.  If you need to protect your garden, please seek out other solutions like Liquid Fence or other natural deterrents. 

If you come across injured or trapped wildlife, please remember to call your local Animal Control or us here at AHS/Popcorn Park and leave it to the professionals.  Enjoy the outdoors responsibly and remember that we share our planet with others that may be harmed by our carelessness.  Please spread the word for wildlife, and thanks for caring!

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