One of the most powerful predators in North America is slowly starving to death and growing weaker by the day – all because of a little piece of metal.
According to the Canadian Press, a bald eagle in the area of Clarenville, Newfoundland, has been spotted flying with a leg-hold trap firm affixed to one of his talons.
"They can put up with a lot, but their feet are their life-line," Hope Swinimer, founder of Hope for Wildlife rehabilitation centre told the Canadian Press. "These tend to be really tough cases. Usually, a lot of damage has been done from these traps … we get cases every year.”
A similar case arrived at Hope for Wildlife only a week earlier – a red-tailed hawk with a leg-hold trap firmly grasping the predatory bird. It was euthanized due to the severity of his injuries.
Conservation officers have attempted to bait and capture the afflicted eagle, but were ultimately unsuccessful. If he cannot be helped in the coming days, he will likely die by starvation.
Regardless of the tax dollars thrown at research, traps have always been and will always be indiscriminate. Non-target species – including at-risk, endangered, or domestic animals – will suffer just as much as those targeted by trappers. The only way to end this suffering is to end the demand for the fur trade.