Reccemag: Photographer and environment volunteer Karen Mason captured what she believed were sweet photos of a mother bird feeding her chick on a Florida beach. Soon she discovered it was a parent bird feeding its chick a cigarette butt.
Karen Mason, who took the photographs, issued a simple plea as she posted the pictures online: “If you smoke, please don’t leave your butts behind.”
Commenters endorsed her plea, saying the sight was “heart-breaking and devastating”.
The two disturbing images feature a mother bird feeding her small chick a cigarette butt — and the baby walking with the item in its mouth. She explained that the mother bird likely picked it up in the water and — naturally — assumed it was a fish to feed her baby.
Cigarette butts were the most common item of all types of rubbish collected from beaches globally, according to a report by Ocean Conservancy last year. Most people don’t realize that butts are made from cellulose acetate, a plastic that never entirely degrades.
Many on social media labeled the scene a distressing sight. Celebrity Pamela Anderson also sharing the post online, “If you smoke, please don’t leave your butts behind – birds can mistake the filters for food.”
Photo: Karen Mason