GRAPHIC IMAGES: Raccoon has paw mauled by rat trap in Burnaby

Severe injuries led to a raccoon being humanely euthanized today, after he was caught in Burnaby and taken to wildlife rehabilitators with a rat trap still crushing his paw.

The Wildlife Rescue Association of BC took in the raccoon, a young male who was otherwise in excellent health. The Tomcat-brand rat trap had crushed his front right paw, likely after he reached into it for bait. The extensive injuries included clearly broken bones, lacerations and wounds exposing bones, suspected nerve damage, and a severe infection. He was found in an area of industrial businesses, and was first sighted with the trap on his paw several days ago. Due to the extent of his injuries, wildlife rehabilitators humanely euthanized the raccoon.

There is no excuse for setting such a trap outdoors, where any animal could be injured or killed by them, including domestic pets and children. Such an irresponsible action will also ultimately fail to prevent any kind of conflict. Rats, just like other small mammals, will seek out resources, and frequent areas where they’re available. Simple steps to prevent conflict or reduce the presence of unwanted wildlife in an industrial area (or a home) include:

  • Removing all attractants such as open waste containers, litter, fallen fruits, spilled bird seed, and outdoor pet food.
  • Examining buildings and closing or covering potential entrances for small mammals.
  • Utilize home-made solutions such as bleach containers (fill a margarine container ¼ full with bleach OR ammonia, but not both; dilute slightly with water; put a rag in it; seal with lid; punch small holes in the lid; place around where unwanted animal is entering; rag will absorb solution preventing spills, and the irritating smell will keep small mammals away; replace every 2 to 3 weeks, and clearly label for passersby; do not use if children present)
  • Contact a professional, reputable wildlife removal company like AAA Wildlife Control.

A young, healthy, sentient being suffered immensely for several days because of a single rat trap placed outdoors. We can co-exist with wildlife, benefiting ecosystems and all our lives. And that means leaving cruel traps where they belong: in the past.

Photo provided by the Wildlife Rescue Association of BC

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