A juvenile raccoon found suffering in a trap in Maple Ridge had to be humanely put down, and that prompted a rebuke from a wildlife advocacy group.
The Fur-Bearers wildlife charity issued a press release saying the use of a cuff-style restraining trap warrants a reminder of the inhumane consequences and potential legal liabilities of trapping.
The Langley-based Critter Care Wildlife Society was contacted by a resident who found the female raccoon entangled in netting near Godwin Drive and Carmichael Street, which is a semi-rural area near Kanaka Creek. The cuff-style trap was being dragged by the raccoon, causing extensive injuries. As a result of these injuries, the raccoon was humanely euthanized, said the release.
“These cuff-style traps are sold as a ‘humane’ way to manage raccoons on private property, and to reduce negative encounters, but too often lead to these horrific injuries and can put other animals, including pets, at risk,” said Aaron Hofman of The Fur-Bearers.
The person who set the trap is not known.
The Fur-Bearers website refers to an incident in Burnaby in 2018, when a raccoon chewed off its own paw because it was caught in one of these traps. It also recalls a Galiano Island incident similar to the one in Maple Ridge, where a mother raccoon pulled a cuff-style trap from the ground, and had it stuck on her paw as she walked for days. She was also euthanized.
The Fur-Bearers say raccoons are native species in the Lower Mainland, and attempts to remove them will not resolve or prevent future negative encounters.
Coexistence measures, such as attractant management, appropriate protection of backyard chicken coops and gardens, and humane wildlife removal agencies approved by the BC SPCA’s AnimalKind program are sustainable solutions, they say.
“We encourage residents to learn about coexistence and attractant management, and view available resources on our website at TheFurBearers.com/coexist,” says Hoffman.
Anyone with information regarding illegal (or unsafe) trapping should contact the BC Conservation Officer Service RAPP Line at 1-877-952-RAPP (7277) or online at forms.gov.bc.ca/environment/rapp/. Anyone with information regarding an animal in distress or acts of suspected animal cruelty should contact the BC SPCA tip line at 1-855-622-7722.
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