Advocate questions use of traps after raccoon gnaws paw off

Adult raccoon was rescued by Critter Care Wildlife Society after being found with trap stuck on paw

Animal care activists are asking people to use pest control alternatives after a raccoon that was caught in a trap chewed off its own paw because of the pain.

An adult raccoon was recovered by the Critter Care Wildlife Society after it was found wandering around a neighbourhood in Burnaby last Thursday. The male’s right paw was snared in a cuff-styled duke trap.

The trap was removed, but it had crushed the animal’s paw, said Critter Care executive director Gail Martin.

Despite pain medication, the raccoon chewed off his foot overnight, and was subsequently euthanized.

It is not clear who set the trap.

The adult male raccoon was forced to be euthanized after gnawing its paw off. (Critter Care Wildlife Society)

Martin said that particular trap specifically targets raccoons.

“Nobody who has no empathy for anything living should be allowed to use these traps,” Martin told Black Press Media. “Raccoons’ feet are very sensitive. If you want to hurt a raccoon, go for its paws, because they are very, very soft and they are very sensitive.”

In B.C., you can call the BC Conservation Officer Service to get rid of a pesky animal, or private companies certified through the BC SPCA.

“Companies who can safely and humanely remove wildlife from properties do exist,” said Adrian Nelson, wildlife conflict manager with the Fur-Bearers advocacy group.

”Living with wildlife and preventing conflict is possible without the use of inherently inhumane traps,”

(Critter Care Wildlife Society)

Martin said she’s noticed an uptick in cruelty cases in the last two or three years, though she can’t say why.

“I’ve been doing this for 36 years, and this is like going back to when I first started,” she said.

She said education and awareness campaigns have worked in the past to reduce animal cruelty, and that people need to think twice, especially when it comes to common pests like raccoons.

“There are better ways, more human ways with empathy, where you can discourage these animals.”

A skunk caught in a trap and brought into Critter Care (Critter Care Wildlife Society)

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