THIS is the heart-breaking image of a bird trying to feed its chick a cigarette butt on a beach in Florida showing the devastating affects of beach pollution.
The skimmer was spotted passing the butt to its chick, who clutched it in its mouth appearing as if it was going to swallow it.
Karen Mason, from Largo, Florida snapped the picture last week on St. Pete Beach.
She shared the image on Facebook and wrote: “If you smoke, please don’t leave your butts behind.”
In another image, the chick is seen standing on the sand with the stubbed-out cigarette in its mouth.
She added: “This Skimmer chick was offered a cigarette butt by it’s parent.
“It’s time we cleaned up our beaches and stopped treating them like one giant ash tray. #nobuttsforbabies”
Mason said she there was no reason why someone couldn’t take their cigarette butts with them.
‘IT’S JUST SO UNNECESSARY’
She told Today: “Cigarette butts are not big. They can take them home with them.
“If they can take their cellphones, they can certainly take some tiny little cigarette butt container along with them.
“It’s not at all unusual to see litter on the beaches.
“If not for the people who volunteer to pick up trash, you probably wouldn’t even want to go to one — and I’m sure it’s the same in every park in the country.
“It’s just so unnecessary and so infuriating that people just don’t care.”
“Hopefully some people, at least, will see the reality of what could happen to these animals.”
Many on Facebook were quick to share their outrage.
One said: “The little one so cute but so maddening that has to be subjected to this.”
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Another added: “This don’t just hurt our animals and environments it can create forest fires as well.
“Very powerful picture message right here folks. Pretty sad.”
Cigarette butts were deemed one of the top 10 rubbish items collected from beaches around the world,
according to the 2018 Ocean Conservancy report.
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