Breakdown: Why your used mascara wands can be used to save wildlife

Published: Dec. 19, 2021 at 9:17 AM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - If you thought your dried-out mascara wands weren’t good for anything but the trash can, think again. There’s actually a surprising and potentially life-saving way to repurpose your old mascara wands when you’re done with them.

The soft, compact bristles on mascara wands can be used to gently remove fly eggs, dirt, fleas, ticks and larvae from the fur of animals and the wings of birds. They work particularly well because the bristles are close together and are gentle enough to clean small animals.

“Mascara wands are such an incredible asset. Earlier this fall, we took in the saddest little squirrel, who someone had caught in a glue trap. If it weren’t for some donated mascara wands, I don’t know how we would have ever gotten that glue out of his fur. As a side note: glue traps are absolutely inhumane and should NEVER be used for ANY animal. We’ve also used mascara wands to pick eggs and maggots out of fur, too. They come in really handy,” says Sami Harvey, founder of the Out of the Woods Wildlife Rescue & Rehab in the Memphis area.

  • Remember, before donating any mascara wands, they should be cleaned with warm, soapy water to remove residual mascara and dried completely.
"Sly and his twin sister Zoop came to us in bad shape: starving, covered in maggots. Now days...
"Sly and his twin sister Zoop came to us in bad shape: starving, covered in maggots. Now days Sly is a big goofy boy who occasionally graces us with a blep, like he is here in this photo," says Sami Harvey, founder of the Out of the Woods Wildlife Rescue & Rehab in the Memphis area.(Out of the Woods Wildlife Rescue and Rehab)

Out of the Woods Wildlife Rescue & Rehab is “a safe place for injured or orphaned wildlife to get the care they need, so they can get their fluffy butts back out in the wild where they belong,” according to their website.

If you find an animal that you think may need help, Sami asked that you call or text her at (901) 340-6534 (and leave a voicemail if no answer). Additionally, she has provided information on what to do when you find an animal that needs help.

To see some of the animals Out of the Woods has rescued, click here.

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