Manitoba hiker caught in trap says he didn’t see the warning until it was too late

A Conibear 330 trap

A Manitoba hiker is speaking to media after being caught in a “killing” beaver trap recently.

The individual spoke with CTV News Winnipeg, who report that the hiker has requested his name be withheld (but have not specified why).

According to CTV News reporter Josh Crabb, the hiker was at the Prairie Shore Interpretive Trail in the Tall Grass Prairie Preserve, an area southeast of Winnipeg. The trap clamped down on his foot while walking on a path along a stream off the trail.

Once he calmed himself, the hiker tried relieving pressure from the trap, then removed a chain that connected the trap to a post. Another man, out for a hike with his dog, was flagged down by the trapped hiker. The man was trapped for about 45 minutes, and the passerby was able to help him remove the trap prior to paramedics arriving.

CTV News followed the story and found that the Rural Municipality of Stuartburn forwarded a complaint about beaver activity in the area to Manitoba Infrastructure; in a statement, Manitoba Conservation and Climate told CTV News that a kill permit was issued for beavers in the area and all traps were marked and none were located on or near the trail.

The trapped hiker told CTV News that, “the only marking he saw was orange flagging tape on a tree, and that he didn’t see it until after he’d stepped in the trap. He feels the trap was located too close to an area used by hikers.”

The trail the hiker was on is owned and managed by Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation, who sent the following statement to CTV News: “MHHC (Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation) has not provided permission for anyone to trap on that property, nor have there been enquiries to MHHC for permission to set traps. We are very sorry to have heard that someone was injured while they were out enjoying the property.”

The victim of the trap reports he does not believe his foot is broken.

CTV News: Trap for problem beavers in southeast Manitoba leaves hiker in a bind

While wildlife and trapping is handled provincially across Canada, municipalities, landowners and the general public are frequently managing the consequences of trapping. The Fur-Bearers actively advocate for municipal authority to create trapping by-laws, mandatory warning signs, setbacks from trails and public notices regarding trapping to protect pets and families.

There are legitimate concerns regarding beaver activity: their habitat management can have an impact on infrastructure. However, there is growing evidence showing that shows mitigating that damage through coexistence measures such as flow devices and education is beneficial. Learn more in our Beaver Coexistence Guide.

A similar incident to this inspired long-time director George Clements to researc traps and eventually join (and lead) The Fur-Bearers!

We will continue to follow this incident and bring updates as they’ve available.

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