Published: 10:42, 12 February 2020
| Updated: 11:55, 12 February 2020
Small mammals are getting stuck in discarded litter and then suffocating or starving to death days later. Images of the poor creatures trapped in dumped glass and plastic bottles found on Romney Marsh have been shared by anti-littering campaigner Eric Brown.
WARNING: Graphic images below
He now hopes the pictures will act as a wake up call to people so they stop and think before throwing rubbish on the street.
His warning was shared on the Litter Picking Watch Romney Marsh group's Facebook page.
It reads: "What do these bottles have in common apart from all being found alongside a road on Romney Marsh?
"They no longer have the contents they where designed to hold, but if you look closely you will see they do all contain something, something that went in and couldn’t get out leading to a very, very slow painful death caused by starvation and dehydration.
"Think about the hours and days this poor little mammal had to suffer because some inconsiderate person couldn't dispose of their litter properly."
The pictures were taken during several litter picks performed by the group on the Marsh over the last couple of months.
But Mr Brown, who is 66 and a Keep Britain Tidy Litter Hero’s Ambassador, says the discovery of dead animals is a 'regular occurrence'.
He adds: "We also find mammals drowned in plastic bottles, crisp packets and other containers, reaching in to the rain-filled-litter for a drink.
"They then slip and are unable to get out resulting in a horrific death.
"Sometimes because of the angle of the bottle they can get in, but they can't get out.
"I think the smell of the sweet drink can also attract them.
"I posted the images to show people what can happen. You might think you're just throwing litter away, but it can lead to the death of small animals.
"I want to get that message across - not only is littering harmful to the environment, it is harmful to wildlife."
Ethical animal charity PETA provides advice on how to help prevent animals suffering.
This includes disposing of fishing lines and hooks correctly, so that birds and sea life don't get caught up, never throwing chewing gum on the ground, which can get matted into animals' fur, rinsing containers so their contents don't attract scavenges and crushing metal cans before throwing them away so the metal doesn't cut animals.
More by this authorSam Williams