Naugatuck doe is a victim of littering


Photo Credit: CT Insider

During the first week of January, a pregnant doe with a plastic jug stuck on her head was spotted roaming around with her fawn in Naugatuck, Connecticut. Since the spotting of the poor doe, Naugatuck’s residents have been pushing for somebody to help the deer. Still, there is a more significant issue regarding the litter plaguing these animals’ natural environment. 

Due to the deer’s natural nervousness, every time DEP or Animal Control tries to capture the deer in order to remove the plastic jug, they end up spooking it away. This deer has not been able to eat or drink for several days. It does not help that the sighting of the deer have been very sporadic since she does not stay in one place

Naugatuck residents have been searching for this deer for days, some even driving around in their cars to finally spot the deer but nobody has gotten her to stay in one place long enough actually to help her.

The people who are worried about this poor deer are the same people who throw trash out of their windows and onto the street. The problem did not start when the deer put its head into the plastic jug, it began when the plastic jug was left for the deer to get. 

During an interview with Greyhound News, Destiney Marquez, a Naugatuck resident who found out about the deer from a Facebook post said “It’s very sad that we keep taking their home because things like this happen. The poor deer couldn’t even eat or drink water. I don’t know if they found it or not, but if they didn’t it would be very sad to find out it passed away. If we take away their homes from them, the least we can do is pick up after ourselves.” As Marquez said, it’s very important to look after our environment and treat the animals in our environment the way they should be treated. 

This is definitely not the first time this has happened to an animal, and it definitely won’t be the last until people start being more conscious about what they throw onto the street, or what falls out of their recycling bins. 

On April 1, 2022, a baby sea turtle called Izzy passed away due to the plastic in the ocean recklessly caused by humans. Izzy was rescued by the Olive Ridley Project to be treated for a cloacal infection and plastic ingestion. He was responding well to treatment until he started passing massive amounts of microplastics which the Olive Ridley Team suspects led to his death. 

He is not the first sea turtle or the last to die from ingesting plastic. Sea turtles do not have the best vision and often mistake plastic bags for jellyfish and fishing nets for seaweed. They do not digest plastic very well, so it blocks their intestines and causes internal bleeding, ultimately leading to starvation, malnutrition, and death. They also often get tangled up in these plastics, leading to lifelong injuries, choking, and being left to sink to the bottom of the ocean and drown. 

This doesn’t only happen to marine life, but land-based animals as well. In January 2018, a twenty-year-old wild elephant in Periyar, India perished from plastic ingestion, caused by the residents who hike through the heavily wooded forest every winter to reach a shrine. It was later discovered that the plastic inside the elephant caused internal bleeding and organ failure which led to its death. 

These are just two of the many cases that show the impact of plastic pollution on both land animals and marine animals. It is genuinely upsetting that this is a normal part of the lives of animals. 

Right now you’re probably thinking “what does this have to do with me? I’m not an animal!” Over three billion people on earth rely on fish as their primary source of protein. The fish that you eat has probably ingested some type of microplastic in their lifetime. When you eat that fish, you also are ingesting microplastics that travel all throughout your body. Those microplastics can cause hormonal disruption, oxygen imbalance, DNA damage, and stress. In March of 2022, microplastics were found in human lungs as well. It is suspected that microplastics can cause  brain damage and tearing of major organs.