Rangers in Central Park are looking for a rare duck species with a piece of plastic stuck on its beak. A local birder, Brad Kane, posted a photo of the Common Merganser with what looks like plastic or a rubber band stuck on its beak.

According to Kane, its dangerous for the bird because it cannot hunt or dive for food with the plastic stuck on its beak. Kane told ABC News, “It’s almost like a bridle and preventing it from closing its mouth. It’s a fish-eating bird so if it can’t dive it can’t eat. It’s awful. It means it’s going through a long and painful suffering.”

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As of February 25, rangers still had not located the animal. Kane said that the duck is an uncommon animal for Central Park. Megan Moriarty, a spokeswoman for the New York City Parks Department said, “The goal is to rescue the bird, remove the plastic, and transport the animal to the Wild Bird Fund so they can assess its overall health.”

Watch this video to learn more:

The Parks Department is asking anyone who sees the bird to call 212-360-2774. It’s just another reminder of how plastic affects wildlife. Kane, who found the bird, said of the problem of plastic, “No one likes to see nature suffer, and that is indeed what’s happening to this bird. It brings home the message of how dangerous plastic is to wildlife.”

New York City’s plastic bag ban goes into effect on March 1, 2020. Read more stories about animals and plastic in One Green Planet, including heartbreaking stories of polar bears playing with plastic and this sea turtle that was found with plastic in its stool.

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There are products you may be using or habits you may have that contribute to plastic pollution. Learn more about how the use of Teabags, Cotton Swabs, Laundry, Contact Lenses, Glitter and Sheet Masks pollute our oceans so you can make more informed decisions going forward. There are also numerous simple actions and switches that can help cut plastic out of our lives including, making your own cosmetics, shampoo, toothpaste, soap, household cleaners, using mason jars, reusable bags/bottles/straws, and avoiding microbeads!

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