2. Balloons are a danger to wildlife

2. Balloons are a danger to wildlife

Debris from balloons represents a danger, because animals may become entangled in ribbons preventing normal foraging activity. Animals also mistake balloon debris for food and ingest the material, which may block the stomach or intestines and lead to starvation.

Photo to the right: this Guillemot (Uria aalge) became entangled in a ribbon with remains of the latex balloon and plastic valve.

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Northern Fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis), entangled in balloon ribbon.
Northern Fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis), entangled in balloon ribbon.
Playful behaviour, in this case by a Jackass Penguin (Spheniscus demersus) in South Africa, can lead to entanglement or ingestion.
Playful behaviour, in this case by a Jackass Penguin (Spheniscus demersus) in South Africa, can lead to entanglement or ingestion.
Plastic ribbons, balloon valves and washers end up as debris in nature.
Plastic ribbons, balloon valves and washers end up as debris in nature.
Great Skua (Catharacta skua) with apparently ingested balloon and the ribbon hanging from the mouth. Photographed central North Sea by Hans Verdaat.
Great Skua (Catharacta skua) with apparently ingested balloon and the ribbon hanging from the mouth. Photographed central North Sea by Hans Verdaat.