About 2,000 wildlife rescued a year has been injured by littered fishing lines and hooks.

Zoe Nakata, executive director of Wildlife Haven Rehabilitation Centre in Ile de Chenes, Manitoba said garbage and litter can often end up hurting wildlife, as they attempt to eat it or use for bedding.

“Anytime we can dispose of things responsibly is good for the environment, is good for the animal,” Nakata said.

“One injury that we do see quite often is fishing line injuries. A lot of shorebirds will become tangled in the fishing line. We even have turtles that get injured by tangled up [line] or even hooks that are ingested by animals. That is the biggest culprit,” she added.

Nakata recommended disposing all materials used for fishing in a secure garbage bin or put it in a garbage bag in your homes and tie it securely.

The Wildlife Haven Rehabilitation Centre has certified wildlife rehabilitators and dozens of volunteers who are working on helping out animals, especially those in dire situations.

“We have seen squirrel and bird build their nest with plastic, which is not good for them or for the environment,” Nakata said. “With disposable masks, it’s always good idea to cut that elastic. That will reduce the risk of it getting tangled up into an owl’s legs, for example.”

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