Owl caught in trap near Surrey elementary school
Community members are concerned about children's safety after a Barred Owl was caught in a trap set up just a few hundred metres away from a Surrey elementary school.
The fully-grown bird was found with its leg caught in a leghold trap a couple weeks ago in a forested area near a trail used by dogs and kids. The Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society has been treating the owl for deep cuts that reach down to the bone on both the front and back of its leg.
Bev Day, the director of the O.W.L. Society, expects the creature to recover, but says if its injuries were worse it likely would have been euthanized. She also worries about who set the trap and why.
"It was probably not done intentionally to cause damage damage, but it could, if a child had wanted to see what it was," she said.
Both the Surrey school district and city hall were notified and a search began for traps in the surrounding area close to Kirkbride Elementary School.
"They didn't find anything and we've just been hopeful that nothing else is out there," Doug Strachan of the school board told CTV News.
"It's bad enough that (the trap) caught some wildlife, but to hurt a child is unconscionable," he added.
Kids have been warned not to walk off the trail or touch anything that looks unusual.
Day hopes parents use the incident as an opportunity to talk to and show their kids what a trap looks like in case they come across one in a local park.
It's not common, but several traps have reportedly been found around British Columbia in the past year.
"I'm hoping whoever put it out there sees this and understands what they've done and says, ‘Boy, we were sure dumb,' and thinks twice," Day said.
Like most communities, Surrey doesn't ban leghold traps. But the city is under pressure from animal rights groups to ban certain types, including legholds.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Penny Daflos.