Raccoon drags leg trap around Oak Bay for days, dies at wild animal rehab centre

A female raccoon dragging a leg trap is sedated for examination at the Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre in Metchosin. It was later put down. (Courtesy Wild ARC)A female raccoon dragging a leg trap is sedated for examination at the Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre in Metchosin. It was later put down. (Courtesy Wild ARC)
A raccoon discovered in Oak Bay trapped in this leg hold, was put down after examination revealed it had a shattered front leg and had gnawed off all its toes in an attempt to free itself. (Courtesy Wild ARC)A raccoon discovered in Oak Bay trapped in this leg hold, was put down after examination revealed it had a shattered front leg and had gnawed off all its toes in an attempt to free itself. (Courtesy Wild ARC)

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

The animal was discovered in the 2000-block of Lansdowne Road 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.

c.vanreeuwyk@blackpress.ca


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oak bayOak Bay Police DepartmentWest ShoreWildlife