'We can do better': Brutally injured raccoon prompts calls for trapping prohibitions in Delta
Warning: This story contains graphic details and images about an injured animal
A B.C.-based wildlife non-profit is calling on the City of Delta to restrict the use of animal traps after a raccoon was found with one of its legs caught in a foot-hold trap.
In a statement issued Monday, the Fur-Bearers said a resident found the injured animal last week in the area of 46A Avenue in Ladner.
“His condition was reported as exhausted, dehydrated, and in extreme pain,” the organization wrote, adding that critter “had likely been dragging the trap for multiple days.”
The animal was euthanized by members of the the Critter Care Wildlife Society.
Images of the raccoon showed broken bones poking out of the flesh of the trapped leg, which was almost severed by the device.
“Traps pose a public safety threat to wildlife (including endangered or at-risk species), as well as domestic pets like cats and dogs and families,” Fur-Bearers said. “Documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act indicate that the provincial government has been aware that an average of eight dogs per year are killed by such traps.”
The letter goes on to explain that while trapping is a provincially regulated activity, municipalities have the power to regulate the practice within their communities and encourages the City of Delta to enact bylaws prohibiting the use of body-gripping, Conibear-style and snare-type traps.
“The City of Delta has an opportunity to create a by-law that would help prevent this kind of suffering; whether the trap was set by a licensed trapper or someone who simply ordered a trap online, the pain and fear this raccoon endured for days while dragging the device around is unacceptable,” Fur-Bearers spokesperson Michael Howie said in a statement.
“As a community – locally, provincially, globally – we can do better for the animals with whom we share the land. It comes to down to asking if we’re willing to do the work.”
Fur-Bearers is also offering a $1,000-reward for information that leads to a conviction against whoever set the trap.
“We don’t know who set this trap or why they set it, but we do know they caused a great deal of suffering for at least one animal,” Howie said. “Our hope is that someone will see this news, remember hearing something or seeing something, and contact investigators.”