The Zoological Society of Trinidad and Tobago (ZSTT) is asking members of the public to be responsible in their usage of fireworks, as the country celebrates the end of a decade and welcomes the new year, and a new decade altogether.
It's a cultural custom in the twin islands, and many other countries around the world, for citizens and organisations to ring in the new year with a display of fireworks. However, in a release, president of the ZSTT, Gupte Lutchmedial, is advising against such a practice.
The release said Lutchmedial, "is strongly urging persons to consider the harmful impact of noisy fireworks on all animals that are in proximity to the places throughout Trinidad and Tobago where these fireworks are being set off. Consideration must also be given to the stressful effect on those vulnerable persons in society, especially the elderly and infirm."
The ZSTT statement also noted that fireworks can have a negative impact on the environment, "leaving metal particles, dangerous toxins, harmful chemicals and smoke in the air for hours and days."
In September, an 18-month old Kangaroo died at the Emperor Valley Zoo following the Independence Day firework display in Port-of-Spain. AAccording to Lutchmedial then, a necropsy indicated the animal died from "trauma and stress" which he had told Guardian Media was a result of the display.
"It’s the noise that got them excited and had them beating around the place,” he had indicated.
How best to protect those pets
And on CNC3's The Morning Brew, today, Patricia Green of the Animal Welfare Network gave some tips on how to protect animals from harmful fireworks noise.
“Certain animals can be sedated; others cannot,” she explains. “So please be careful, for the sake of your pet, and talk to your vet before giving your dog anything. However, there are ways to avoid that. One of the best ways is to keep your animal inside with you. Secure them inside, if possible.”
Patricia Green adds: “Put on some music or put on the air-conditioning if you have it. Anything to reduce the noise from outside.”
Story by CARISA LEE & RISHARD KHAN