Penguin died after swallowing face mask thrown away on beach

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A penguin died after swallowing an entire face mask. The N95 mask was found inside of the stomach of the animal in Brazil after the penguin is thought to have become lost from its group after migrating from Argentina’s southern Patagonia region.

According to the Daily Mail, the penguin’s body washed up on the Juquehy Beach. The heartbreaking photos taken at the necropsy of the animal were released earlier this week. The penguin’s body was discovered on September 8. The penguin’s death is a consequence of pandemic-related pollution that has been plaguing the oceans and streets since March.

“This case is unequivocal proof that this type of waste causes harm and mortality in marine fauna, in addition to the irresponsibility of the person who dispenses a mask in an inappropriate place,” Hugo Gallo Neto, oceanographer and president of the Argonauta Institute, said in the statement. “We feel that the lack of education of the population that frequents the north coast regarding the issue of waste needs to be addressed efficiently at all levels, from children in schools, even with the creation of stricter legislation, to prevent people from placing trash anywhere.”

People have been warned about leaving discarded masks on the ground, the beach or in our parks and oceans. The strings are dangerous to wildlife and marks the irresponsibility of the person throwing it away in an inappropriate place. As harmful as it is to our wildlife, it’s dangerous by putting other people at risk.

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) warned earlier this year the incorrect disposal of personal protective equipment would be a new threat to our environment.

Rest in peace little guy. You didn’t have to die.

(Photos Pixabay, screen shots via Daily Mail Newsflash)

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