It’s been a tough few days for wildlife in North America. Just ask the poor squirrel in Connecticut and the skunks in Michigan and Canada that have waged war with cups stuck on their heads.
Thankfully, humans came to their rescue.
Earlier this month paramedics in Ontario, Canada, slipped into their ebola virus protection suits to help this poor stunk.
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A few days before that in Royal Oak Township, Mich., brave state police troopers responded to a call that a terrified skunk with a yogurt cup stuck on its head was “running around in circles spraying everything.”
According to MLive.com, the troopers called animal control for help but were told the agency doesn’t handle wild skunk rescues.
So the troopers “decided to risk the possible tomato juice bath and get the cup off the skunk's head on their own,” police said in a statement.
“While one trooper used a wooden pole to guide the skunk in a certain direction and distracting the skunk, a second trooper (and the fastest) ran up and gently grabbed the cup, freeing the skunk. The skunk took a quick look around, nodded in appreciation and left the area.
“The Michigan State Police continues to provide service with a purpose to all members of the community, human or animal.”
Late last week emergency responders in Enfield, Conn., rescued a squirrel with a yogurt container stuck on its head.
The EMS folks told the Huffington Post the container appeared to be from Yoplait, a company targeted for years by animal advocates over the design of its containers. They want Yoplait to change the cup so it’s not easy for an animal to get stuck in it.
Supporters of the effort, found on the Yoplait Cups Kill Wildlife Facebook page, track and post incidents where animals get trapped in the cups. A Change.org petition asking Yoplait’s parent company, General Mills, to change its containers has more than 130,000 signatures of 200,000 requested.
But don’t expect to see new Yoplait cups any time soon.
“Because wildlife will try to eat from containers of all shapes and sizes for a variety of products, changing the cup design will not solve the overall issue,” Mike Siemienas, manager of General Mills’ brand media relations, told the Huffington Post in a statement. “We urge consumers to crush containers before disposal and to dispose of all containers properly where animals cannot gain access. We print the message ‘protect wildlife, crush before disposal’ on our cup for that reason.”