Injured raccoons raise concern for Oak Bay resident

Concerns raised about trap-induced injuries to raccoons

A local raccoon missing its right front paw.

Posters and a new website aim to raise awareness over raccoons missing paws in Oak Bay and the concern the damage is human-caused.

Posters in the Haultain Street, Epworth Street and Kings Road neighbourhood inform residents, and Oak Bay Police were alerted May 25 with a report of up to four sightings in recent weeks of raccoons in that neighbourhood with a missing paw.

“(The resident has) been seeing a drastic reduction of the raccoon population,” said Deputy Chief Kent Thom, Oak Bay Police.

“That’s what made them think there were maybe some leg traps being set. If that is the case, it gives us a lot of concern because pets and young children run the risk of being hurt and injured with these traps.”

One of the injured raccoons was a nursing mother.

“I think it’s just speculation at this point. We’ve seen no traps and we personally have seen no injured raccoons,” said Thom. “It’s on our radar now and we’re always looking for this kind of thing.”

Raccoons missing limbs is not a new phenomenon, says Conservation Officer Peter Pauwels. “We don’t see it very often, but I have seen it occasionally,” he said.

While there is concern someone is using a leg-hold trap, “that’s not necessarily the case,” Pauwels said.

There was an incident about three years ago, he said, where a raccoon got caught in a kania trap, a lethal squirrel trap that can cause damage to larger animals when not properly used.

“That’s probably more likely than leg-hold,” Pauwels said.

However, “to use those you have to be more than 200 metres from a residence, which makes it pretty hard to do in Oak Bay.”

While it would be illegal to use the lethal traps, Pauwels cautions residents not to jump to conclusions.

“It’s completely legal to use live traps and there are lots of them out there,” he said. “If you want to trap animals, there are companies that will do that for you and most of them are pretty good about using legal traps. If these things are not used properly it isn’t just raccoons that could get caught, it could be other animals as well.”

“If they see something they think is illegal then they could phone it in,” he added.

The BC SPCA Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre was among agencies contacted by the concerned resident, and their phone number shared on the posters in the neighbourhood.

“If anyone does notice raccoons in the area that are injured in any way, contact us directly. That way we can help them assess the situation,” said Heather Schmitt, assistant manager at Wild ARC.

The Metchosin facility sees a lot of orphaned baby wildlife of all varieties this time of year, including young raccoons.

“We tend to see adult raccoons sporadically throughout the year,” Schmitt said. They primarily come in with animal-versus-animal injuries.

Visit to learn more about the resident concern and a reward offered.

Who to call

BC SPCA Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre, 250-478-9453

Police – Oak Bay, 250-592-2424 or Crime Stoppers, 1-800-222-8477

BC Conservation Service, 1-877-952-7277 (RAPP) or #7277 on the TELUS Mobility Network or online at


Just Posted

Oak Bay High student selected for Canada Youth Olympic Team

Barbarians rugby player Lachlan Kratz heads to Las Vegas for Qualifiers

Man charged in suspected Greater Victoria bus assault

The Victoria Police Department has arrested a man for sexual assault aboard… Continue reading

Library’s French collection gets $15,000 boost

Provincial grant adds extra French-language materials to Greater Victoria Public Library collection

Cruise Industry Job Fair on Saturday

Nearly 900 jobs created by the industry

Celebrating the heroic dogs of Saanich past

Cedar Hill exhibit features great dogs of history

President praises nearly 1,800 volunteers at B.C. Games

Ashley Wadhwani sits down with the Kamloops 2018 B.C. Winter Games President Niki Remesz

The way government learn someone has died is getting a digital overhaul

Governments in Canada turned to private consultants 2 years ago to offer blueprint

Bobsleigh team misses Olympic medal finish

Canadian team finishes four-man event 0.84 seconds behind first place, 0.31 seconds from podium

B.C. Games: Athletes talk Team Canada at PyeongChang 2018

From Andi Naudie to Evan McEachran there’s an Olympian for every athlete to look up to

Minor injuries after car veers into Courtenay dance studio

A driver and passenger were taken to hospital after their vehicle crashed… Continue reading

Snowboarders sliding into fresh territory at B.C. Games

Athletes hit the slopes for first appearance as an event at the B.C. Winter Games in Kamloops

Cougars hold upper hand on Westshore in VIJHL South semifinal

Victoria leads series 2-0, games 3 and 4 go tonight and tomorrow

Looking back at the 1979 B.C. Games: Good memories, even better jackets

39 years later, Kamloops is hosting the Winter Games again, with some volunteers returning

OLYMPICS 101: Oldest and youngest Canadians to reach the podium

This year, Canada sent its most athletes in Winter Games history, here’s a look at record breakers

Most Read