4. How many animals die because of balloons?

It is impossible to give figures for the number of animals dying from entanglement or ingestion of latex balloon remains. Occasionally we find wildlife that died from entanglement or a blocked digestive system. At least 2% of fulmar stomachs investigated has remains of balloons. We have no idea about such figures for other wildlife species.

De maag van een aan ballonrubber overleden Noordse Stormvogel

The stomach of a Northern Fulmar that died from latex balloon remains. Fulmars have two stomachs: firstly a large glandular stomach (top part on photo) with a narrow passage into the next smaller and muscular stomach (lower right part).

In this bird, several pieces of balloon latex had filled the glandular stomach to the extent that further passage of food had completely blocked. This bird found found dead from starvation (for further detail, see mall fact nr 3: Degradable balloons are not the solution.

Northern Fulmar

This Northern Fulmar died from starvation because a balloon ribbon had wrapped itself around wing and leg, preventing normal foraging activity.

Although it is difficult to find out the frequency, it is absolutely clear that a number of animals dies because of balloon debris, not just because of the ribbons, but also from latex rubbers that do not degrade quickly enough to prevent ingestion by wildlife.