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Don't leave rotting Halloween pumpkins outside, people warned

Don't leave rotting Halloween pumpkins outside, people warned
People are being asked to properly dispose their old pumpkins. Photo by Gantas VaičiulΔ—nas:

A wildlife group is urging people not to discard old Halloween pumpkins outside.

England's Woodland Trust has warned people that the improper disposal of Halloween pumpkins can have damaging impacts on local wildlife.

Contrary to popular belief, pumpkins are not a suitable source of food for wildlife.

The trust explains that if consumed by animals, pumpkins can present a host of problems including stomach cramps, diarrhoea, dehydration, and even death.

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Rotten pumpkins can also aid the spread of rats and disease among deer, foxes, badgers, and birds.

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Hedgehogs are among the animals most susceptible to illness following consumption of the fleshy fibrous fruit, with many experiencing "dangerous dehydration" due to severe diarrhoea.

Speaking to Sky News, communication officer for Woodland Trust, Paul Bunton, noted that pumpkins are not a native woodland species and only serve to damage local ecosystems.

"Pumpkin flesh can be dangerous for hedgehogs, attracts colonies of rats and also has a really detrimental effect on woodland soils, plants and fungi", she said.

Instead of discarding old pumpkins outside, people are asked to dispose of theirs in a compost bin.

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