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    RADIO ROXI TIMELESS TUNES

Local News

Renewed calls for balloon release ban after seal pup’s death in North Wales | UK News

today31/10/2023

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There are renewed calls for balloon releases to be banned amid concerns for the welfare of wildlife.

A seal pup was found entangled in a balloon string on a beach in North Wales last year.

Gem Simmons, from the North Wales Seal Research Organisation, was one of the officers who coordinated its rescue.

The pup sadly died later that night and, while its cause of death has not been proven, Ms Simmons said the entanglement would have been a “contributing factor to his suffering”.

Many local authorities across the UK have already prohibited balloon and lantern releases.

But there are calls from organisations such as the RSPCA for an outright nationwide ban.

Pic: Gem Simmons
Image:
The seal was rescued from the beach but later died. Pic: Gem Simmons

Gem Simmons told Sky News the pup “looked absolutely terrified” when she found him.

“When we went to secure him to put him into a crate, he again didn’t make much movement and as we rolled him, we noticed this entanglement which was a balloon string,” she said.

“There was a tag on it but it was well-washed in the waves so you couldn’t see what the tag actually said, but a good indicator to us that this was a balloon release.”

People who organise balloon releases “never intend for this to happen,” Ms Simmons added.

“There are much better ways in my opinion, and more environmentally-friendly ways, to celebrate the life of your loved ones.

“And we don’t think that they’re bad people, we don’t even think that they’re silly people.

“We just ask that they just stop, reflect and think about much better ways to celebrate those lives and celebrate the legacy of the loved ones that they’ve lost.”

Read more from Sky News:
UK backs deep sea mining pause
Wales bans single-use plastics
Just Stop Oil condemned after 60 arrested

Ms Simmons said she wanted to “gently” remind people of what can happen as a consequence of balloon releases.

“Banning balloon releases, lantern releases, is definitely something that we would want to see and it would definitely have a positive impact on wildlife in my opinion as well, and on the marine environment as a whole,” she added.



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