July 29, 2018 12:23:25
Photos of a squirrel which died after becoming trapped inside a plastic jar are prompting calls for people to dispose of their rubbish thoughtfully.
The Grampian Moorland Group, which works to protect animals and rare heather moorland in the Scottish Highlands, posted the images of the dead red squirrel on its Facebook page, calling for people to think before they discard plastic waste.
The squirrel poked through the plastic jar and got caught, leaving it unable to move.
In the Facebook post, the conservation group said “discarded plastic proves hazardous to wildlife”.
“One of our gamekeepers found this poor soul in a plastic jar, at woods, next to the busy main road, a popular scenic and tourist route,” the post said.
The post was shared more than 780 times and received many comments condemning the poor disposal of rubbish.
Red squirrels are native to the United Kingdom, but the population has declined, especially since the arrival of the larger grey squirrel from the United States in 1876, which outcompetes for food and shelter and also spreads the deadly squirrelpox.
According to UK conservation group Red Squirrels United, there are less than 140,000 red squirrels left in the United Kingdom, the vast majority of them in Scotland.
Experts fear they could be extinct within the next 20 years.
July 29, 2018 12:15:27