How We Can Protect Wildlife From Swimming Pools

On her way to lay eggs on a beach in the Florida Keys last week, a 250-pound giant loggerhead sea turtle made a wrong turn and fell into in a swimming pool.

Artificial lights on the beach may have confused the turtle, leading her to mistakenly believe she was headed for the ocean. Fortunately, rescuers from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and the Turtle Hospital were able to net the turtle, examine her and then return her safely to the sea.

To prevent this from happening to other sea turtles, the FWC recommends turning off or shielding artificial lighting on beaches so it doesn’t distract nesting females and their hatchlings from finding the ocean. Another alternative is to use red, orange or amber lights, which are better at preventing disorientation.

A Simple Device to Save Small Animals

But what about saving smaller animals from falling into swimming pools? After a friend of wildlife biologist Rich Mason found over 50 frogs and toads in his pool one morning, Mason decided to do something about it. He spent hundreds of hours researching and developing a product to help prevent small animals from drowning. He calls his invention the Froglog.

Here’s how it helps save not only frogs, but bunnies, lizards, chipmunks and other critters: Animals will instinctively swim to the edge of the pool to try to find a way out. When they bump into the Froglog’s floating platform, they can climb on it and up a mesh ramp to safety. It can also save small animals that have burrowed under pool covers and into the water.

For do-it-yourselfers, the Opposum Society of the United States recommends draping foot-wide mesh netting, a towel or another easily gripped item over the side of the pool, and tying one end to a pool ladder, tree or other firmly anchored object. Another suggestion is to leave a Styrofoam kickboard or raft floating in the pool so small animals can climb up on it.

Saving Animals Seeking Respite From the Heat

Much of the western United States recently sweltered through an intense heat wave. In Tucson, daytime temperatures reached triple digits for a week. Within just two days, the Tucson Wildlife Center got more than 200 phone calls from people who were concerned about wildlife spotted near their homes and workplaces.

In some cases, the animals tried to cool off in swimming pools, but unfortunately that could prove to be adeadly decision. Three animals drowned, while two were rescued and are recovering at the Tucson Wildlife Center.

To help prevent these drownings, homeowners should leave their pools covered when they’re not in use. It’s also okay to leave bowls of water — but not food — out overnight for the thirsty animals.

And to keep domesticated animals from drowning, make sure to train your pets so they know to swim to the stairs to get out of the pool. It’s also a good idea, and legally required in some areas, to install a fence around your pool to keep out animals as well as children.

Photo credit: SCAPIN

124 comments

Melania P
Melania Padilla3 months ago

Good tips, sharing as well!

SEND
Carl R
Carl R5 months ago

Thanks!!!!

SEND
Camilla Vaga
Camilla Vaga5 months ago

thanks

SEND
Carl R
Carl R5 months ago

Thanks!!!!

SEND
Alexis M
Alexis Miller5 months ago

Good advice!

SEND
Clare O
Clare O'Beara5 months ago

Would not help that bear in the picture. I think a ladder would do for him.

SEND
Clare O
Clare O'Beara5 months ago

Good move. Or you could just tip one end of a log with bark on it into the pool.

SEND
Carl R
Carl R5 months ago

Thanks!!!

SEND
earthism info
earthism info5 months ago

good article

SEND
natasha s
Past Member 5 months ago

Shared/no pool. thanks

SEND