(Warning: some pictures below may contain graphic content.)
A conservation group that advocates on behalf of fur-bearing animals has issued a plea after two racoons trapped in Vancouver and Victoria had to be killed.
In a November 30 release, the Fur-Bearers, a North Vancouver-based charity, said the racoons suffered "horrific injuries" after being caught in "highly dangerous traps" and had to be euthanized.
The release noted that the Fur-Bearers' information about the trapped animals came from the B.C. SPCA Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre in Victoria and the Critter Care Wildlife Society in Langley.
The locations of the trapped animals were given as Oak Bay in Greater Victoria and near West 14th Avenue in Vancouver.
The Fur-Bearers asked in the bulletin that anyone with knowledge of either trapping incident call the provincial Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) line at 1-877-952-RAPP (7277) or to report online.
"The injuries being caused by so-called humane traps in British Columbia are horrifying and unnecessary,” Fur-Bearer spokesperson Michael Howie said in the release. “While we are unable to ascertain the exact location and purpose of the individuals who set these traps, we are aware many people attempt to use traps to remove animals with whom they’re experiencing negative encounters."
The Fur-Bearers bulletin said that one of the devices used, a leg-hold trap with metal teeth, is illegal in B.C., and that even legal traps, such as the body-gripping one used in the other case, "can cause immense suffering to wildlife”.
The two racoons cited in the release, Fur-Bearers said, sustained "broken bones, chewed off digits, and necrotic flesh".
"There are numerous opportunities to coexist with wildlife, and when animals are inside homes, sheds or businesses, there are professionals with training, equipment, and knowledge who can humanely and ethically remove them,” Howie said.
Anyone wanting to locate a humane wildlife-removal company can contact the B.C. SPCA, which certifies such experts under its AnimalKind program.