U.K. community group buys town's supply of plastic ring toys to save seals
A harp seal pauses Sunday, March 30, 2008 after being released by the University of New England's Marine Animal Rehabilitation Center in Biddeford, Maine. A U.K. community group has bought out the remaining supply of plastic frisbee toys from a seaside town thanks to growing concerns that seals would choke on toys left behind by beach-goers. (AP Photo/Joel Page)
Published Monday, September 9, 2019 3:18PM EDT
TORONTO -- A U.K. community group has bought out the remaining supply of plastic frisbee-like toys from a seaside town thanks to growing concerns that seals would choke on toys left behind by beach-goers.
According to a Facebook post by Gorleston Community Beach Clean, shop owners in the area agreed to stop selling the ring toys and not to stock them in the future due to concerns for the animals in the area.
“They are so dangerous to seals and it’s shocking to see the damage they do when caught round a seals neck,” read the Facebook post.
The community group announced that it will use a portion of a grant fund to buy the surplus of 288 frisbees in an effort to help local businesses become more environmentally friendly.
“The frisbees will be donated to youth groups, school or organisations who want them for fundraising for a ring toss game, for example,” said the group.
“They are not to be given out or sold individually as we don't want them back at the beach.”
According to Friends of Horsey Seals, an organization that monitors seal colonies in the area, the danger comes when the plastic rings get lodged around a seals’ neck, cutting their necks, and eventually impeding the animal’s ability to catch fish and swallow.
“Seals are inquisitive and the young learn to hunt by investigating their surroundings and the things they find there. The hole in the centre of a brightly coloured and attractive abandoned plastic ring is large enough for a young seal to push its head through,” read a campaign launched by the organization in July.
“Once around its neck the seal cannot remove it and the ring becomes a restriction as the seal grows, getting in the way when it is hunting, and cutting into the blubbery flesh as growth continues.”
The organization started its campaign against plastic ring toys after seeing an increasing number of seals injured by the toys.