This viral video shows a family as they rescue a hummingbird that has been stuck in a wad of chewing gum. A three-year-old can be heard in the background commenting on the issue, which is pretty adorable.
The video highlights a little known issue associated with chewing gum waste. According to How Stuff Works, gum can cause a variety of issues, and not just to hummingbirds. Chewing gum is not digestible, not for humans and not for any living creature in the air or sea. This means it can cause serious harm when ingested by certain creatures. Birds (especially young birds) have died from eating chewing gum.
Gum can also be a financial burden to businesses and taxpayers. Gum is hard to remove from any surface, and it does not biodegrade. Therefore, once a wad of gum has been thrown onto a surface, it stays until it is scraped up. Cities and businesses must pay to have their surfaces cleared of gum and gum residue. In fact, gum is the second most littered item in the world falling just behind cigarette butts.
This tiny hummingbird’s problem is just one issue from improperly disposed of chewing gum. The only proper way to dispose of gum is to throw it in the garbage. This way the gum does not stick to surfaces and pose a hazard to wildlife or cost money to be removed. It is also recommended that chewing gum be wrapped in a wrapper or piece of paper before being tossed to ensure if the gum falls from the bin it won’t stick to a surrounding surface.
What do you think of this hummingbird rescue? Did you know chewing gum could pose hazards to wildlife?