Florida bird spotted feeding cigarette butt to chick on St. Pete Beach

by

comment
PHOTO VIA KAREN CATBIRD/FACEBOOK
  • PHOTO VIA KAREN CATBIRD/FACEBOOK
Just a few days after footage surfaced showing a Florida alligator eating a bag of garbage, a mother black skimmer was photographed at St. Pete Beach feeding her baby chick a cigarette butt.

The photo was uploaded to Facebook on June 24 by Karen Catbird of Largo, Florida, along with the caption, “If you smoke, please don’t leave your butts behind.”



Right up there with single-use plastics, cigarettes are one of the most collected items on Earth’s beaches. For the past 32 years, the Ocean Conservancy has sponsored an annual worldwide beach cleanup, which has collected more than 60 million butts over that time.

Despite numerous failed bills, Florida is one of the few states where local governments cannot regulate tobacco use. Republican Sen. Joe Gruters of Sarasota filed Senate Bill 218, which would’ve made smoking on public beaches a civil infraction.



Sadly, this was the second time this week that Florida wildlife was documented enjoying human trash. Last weekend, Tallahassee resident Corine Samwel shot a video showing a gator at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge essentially devouring a pile of garbage.

Stay on top of Orlando news and views. Sign up for our weekly Headlines newsletter.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at feedback@orlandoweekly.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.