A young raccoon has been euthanized after being shot in the head with a crossbow bolt nearly half a metre in length near a Maple Ridge high school.
Dr. Adrian Walton of the Dewdney Animal Hospital said he was called out to a property meters from Garibaldi secondary on Wednesday, May 3 after a raccoon was seen walking wounded in a backyard. Walton said he has seen lots of gruesome injuries, but this one was “quite a difficult one.”
“I was actually upset enough that I had a very hard time even editing that ,” Walton said. “It happened on Wednesday and I couldn’t even touch them until Friday.”
Walton said the raccoon was sure to die a slow, painful death from the shot because it wasn’t a typical “through and through” shot where the arrow can be easily pulled out. The bolt went through the left side of the raccoon’s mouth, behind its jaw and into the rib cage, fracturing two ribs. Although it didn’t cause a collapsed lung or any internal bleeding, it tore a hole in the stomach where the animal was suffering from peritonitis.
His problem with the shot was whoever took it simply left the animal to suffer.
“Every hunter I know is if they take a shot and aren’t sure, you go and track that animal until you finish it off,” he said.
The wildlife group Fur-Bearers is offering a $1,000 cash reward for information that leads to finding the person responsible for the attack.
There have been other incidences involving raccoons in Maple Ridge over the last few weeks. On the weekend, a video surfaced in a Facebook group showing a man walking down the street with a dead raccoon flung over his back. Walton says he has also seen comments on the social media site about people threatening to shoot them.
In January, Marzena Ziccarelli found a dead raccoon in her Albion backyard with a dart sticking out of its back.
The person who fired the crossbow may face charges if found, as it’s illegal to shoot raccoons out of season.