A discarded mayonnaise jar proved to be more dangerous to a coyote pup than anything the Road Runner could dish out. The pup was freed from the jar—which, according to witnesses, had been stuck on his or her head for at least a week—by two kind Seattle men who spotted the coyote in their backyard. Because the pup was so weak from lack of food and water, they were able to hold the youngster and pull off the jar, and the freed coyote immediately trotted off into the woods.
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This coyote’s close call should serve as a reminder that our trash can be mistaken for treasure by wildlife, sometimes with deadly results. That’s why it’s important always to rinse out discarded jars and to crush metal cans. Cut open one side of cup-like containers and cut apart all sections of plastic six-pack rings, including the inner diamonds. Securely cover garbage cans and recycle bins so that animals can’t get into them and become trapped inside. And don’t forget to keep an eye out for other people’s trash too. I always bring an extra bag with me when I walk my dog so that I can pick up trash along the way.
When shopping, choose paper bags or your own reusable bags whenever possible. Wildlife filmmaker Rebecca Hosking convinced her hometown of Modbury, England, to become the first in the U.K. to ban plastic bags. You can read more about her battle against the “plastic plague,” and other inspirational stories, in PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk’s book One Can Make a Difference.
Written by Alisa Mullins