As the festive season and Guy Fawkes approaches, please be mindful of the effects of fireworks on our precious wildlife!
Unexpected and unnatural loud sounds, like the bangs that are often heard from fireworks, have an adverse effect on our urban wildlife. Causing fear and disorientating animals, they often try to flee, sometimes unable to find their nests again. Birds and other small mammal parents sometimes also abandon their nests, leaving their defenceless babies behind. Animals will exhibit unusual behaviour in an attempt to escape the noise, like entering into buildings, or birds flying into windows.
Please note, the use of fireworks is regulated by bylaws under the Explosives Act, 1956. Fireworks may not be set off in any public place, for example, in parks, on the pavement or the streets. No fireworks should be set off, detonated or exploded within 200 metres of any hospital, clinic, petrol station, old-age home or nursing home, or animal welfare organisation or institution. The period in which the lighting of fireworks is allowed is from 7 pm to 10 pm.
We often have people saying that thunderstorms are also loud and scary, BUT the big difference is that a thunderstorm comes with a change in barometric pressure and animals are sensitive to this and can therefore anticipate noise to come.
HOW TO HELP:
- Remove / cover bird feeders and bird baths before lighting fireworks, hopefully discouraging birds from being in the area and ensure that no ash, debris or other firework residue lands in the feeders or water source.
- Do not use fireworks near trees, bird houses, nesting areas, rockeries, or other sheltered areas where wildlife may be living.
- Clean up all firework residue promptly and thoroughly. The debris could contain toxic chemicals and other poisons that can harm animals that may ingest them.
If you come across any compromised wildlife, please contact us: 071 248 1514
We treat indigenous animals free of charge, relying solely on the donations and support of our community.
Pics: Ashleigh Pienaar & Sarah Kempen
The team behind the Johannesburg Wildlife Vet Hospital.