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Raccoon drags leg trap around for days, dies at B.C. wild animal rehab centre

Animal had crushed front leg, was beyond rehabilitation

A small female raccoon spent its final days dragging a leg-hold trap through a Greater Victoria suburb and chewing off body parts in a failed bid for freedom.

The animal was discovered in the 2000-block of Lansdowne Road in Oak Bay on the weekend, where it – trap, snapped on its front right leg – was tangled in black landscape netting. A resident called Oak Bay police who called the B.C. Conservation Service and officers from both agencies got the animal safely off to the BC SPCA Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre (ARC) in Metchosin.

“Unfortunately her injuries were too severe and we weren’t able to rehabilitate her,” Andrea Wallace, manager of wild animal welfare said.

The animal was put down after an examination showed it had been in the trap a day or two.

The raccoon had a crushed right front leg, and as with many trapped animals, she’d chewed most of the digits off the limb.

READ ALSO: Victoria Animal Control seeks info after raccoon injured by illegally-set trap

“That turned the paw necrotic, full of infection and she had multiple fractures through it,” Wallace said.

Unfortunately, there’s no telling where the trap came from. It bears no markings and the animal could have dragged it from anywhere.

What is clear is it’s illegal, Wallace said.

“It is unlawful to use a leg hold trap which has teeth or other projections on the jaws of the trap,” she said, citing provincial hunting and trapping regulations.

It’s not unusual for an injured raccoon to wind up at the Metchosin facility. They see 100 to 200 of the animals in a given year for reasons ranging from from healthy but orphaned, to hit by cars or injured by traps.

This kind of trap is not unheard of, but certainly not common, Wallace said.

“If you see any of these kinds of traps ever being used, please report it to conservation (Report All Poachers and Polluters) RAPP line,” she said. The RAPP number is 1-877-952-7277.

Residents can report an animal in distress through the BC SPCA call centre at 1-855-622-7722 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days per week. The call centre is closed on statutory holidays except for wildlife calls on south Vancouver Island, from 8 to 4:30 p.m.

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Christine van Reeuwyk

About the Author: Christine van Reeuwyk

Longtime journalist with the Greater Victoria news team.
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