Firework Safety for Wildlife

July is finally here, and of course with it comes fireworks! And while many people take precautions to keep their pets safe, wildlife animal safety can become an after thought.

Every year families are reminded to keep their dogs and cats inside during 4th of July celebrations, and usually wildlife are kept out of those reminders. But they shouldn't be.

Fireworks can be just as dangerous for wildlife as they could be for pets at home.

Marge Gibson, the executive director of the Raptor Education Group in Antigo, said birds are the most at risk. Gibson says the smaller the bird, the bigger their vulnerability.

"For smaller birds that's a real risk that they're going to be frightened, and then they're going to jump from the nest and not be able to find their way back," said Gibson.

Gibson said sometimes people use dead trees to launch fireworks, thinking it's harmless. But those trees can be filled with wildlife inside, and the loud noises can be deadly.

"Use your conscience, look around and make sure that you're not in an area that would be very sensitive to wildlife," said Gibson.

If you come across an injured bird while celebrating, place it in a cardboard box filled with something soft, and immediately contact your local wildlife center.

And if you're near Antigo, Gibson says call the Raptor Education Group at 715-623-4015.

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