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Bird with cigarette in mouth on Florida beach sparks outrage

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Posted at 7:24 AM, Jun 27, 2019

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ST. PETE BEACH, Fla. - A baby bird was recently photographed with a cigarette in its mouth on a beach along the Florida Gulf Coast.

The photos are reminders that cigarettes can be harmful to both humans and animals.

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Karen Mason snapped the photos last week on St. Pete Beach, which appears to show a black skimmer feeding a cigarette butt to a chick.

Mason posted the photos online where it quickly sparked outrage.

"You have little kids out there that are going to be picking this stuff up and who knows which kid is going to pick up and stick in their mouth," said Mason.

Mason, who helps educate people about birds, hopes the photos will lead to change and keep beaches beautiful.

"People don't think cigarette butts are litter. They think, ‘Oh, it's paper. Well, it's paper and toxic chemicals, and it's also plastic and it is extremely harmful for not only ourselves, but it's harmful for the environment," said Keep Pinellas Beautiful Executive Director Pat DePlasco.

Courtesy WFLA via NBC News Channel