As Gov. Noem and the U.S. Department of Interior consider bringing fireworks back to Mount Rushmore National Memorial, they should take into account that for many animals, the unnerving explosions are not only terrifying, they can be deadly.

Panicked by the barrage, deer run onto roads, where they risk being hit by traffic, and birds abandon their nests, sometimes orphaning their fledglings. Fireworks also start wildfires, killing smaller animals who can’t escape the flames, destroying habitats and food sources, and suffocating fish when ash depletes the oxygen in rivers and streams. The particle-laden smoke and chemicals that fireworks release damage birds’ respiratory systems and poison the environment.

Realizing that fireworks put animals at risk — and rattle many veterans, seniors, and people with sound sensitivities — communities across the country, as well as popular attractions such as Disney World, are celebrating with drone shows instead. Quiet, safe, and practically pollution-free, they use colored LED lights and can be choreographed to patriotic music to create spectacular shows that deliver all of the awe without the anguish.

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