Raccoons maimed, killed due to traps

An image showing traumatic injuries to a raccoon in an xray and a single raccoon
Traps caused traumatic injuries to three raccoons (Procyon lotor) in late 2023 in Mission, British Columbia. Left, x-rays show the extent of damage to digits caused by the trap; right, one raccoon has survived with the hope of rehabilitation and release by Critter Care Wildlife Society.
Images provided by Critter Care Wildlife Society

The following media release (see the original here) was issued on January 10, 2024.

Three raccoons suffered in traps placed around a Mission home late last year, leading to complaints to the BC Conservation Officer Service and a reminder from a wildlife charity that trapping is a cruel, ineffective solution to managing any issues.

The Fur-Bearers, a non-partisan wildlife charity founded in 1953 to protect fur-bearing animals, received information from Critter Care Wildlife Society (CCWS) regarding the situation stemming from a November 27, 2023, incident.

According to CCWS, neighbours heard the screams of raccoons caught in traps and called the provincial Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) line; a conservation officer and two wildlife specialists from CCWS attended the scene. Upon arrival, the specialists found as many as 10 traps located on a residential property. All three raccoons were transported to CCWS’ facilities where two were humanely euthanized due to the extent of their injuries. The third raccoon is in care and recovering and will hopefully be released. His injuries include significant swelling caused by the trap that led to a laceration opening in the raccoon’s right forearm.

A cuff-style trap removed from an injured raccoon by Critter Care Wildlife Society in 2017. These devices target the front paws and legs of raccoons.

“Raccoons are intelligent, social animals who are native to Mission and the Lower Mainland,” says Lesley Fox, Executive Director at The Fur-Bearers. “Traps cause suffering to any animal caught in them and will not resolve any potential issues being faced by residents. We encourage residents who have concerns about wildlife to visit our website at TheFurBearers.com to learn about wildlife coexistence, the importance of attractant management, and how to find humane, non-lethal removal services should wildlife get into a home.”

The BC Conservation Officer Service acknowledged they are investigating the incident. Inquiries regarding this investigation may be directed to the BCCOS.

“The Fur-Bearers remind residents that body-gripping traps are inherently inhumane devices that cause significant harm,” says Fox. “Residents concerned about the availability of these devices and the weak regulations surrounding them should contact their MLA.”

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Established in 1953, The Fur-Bearers is a charitable, non-partisan organization whose goals are to end the commercial fur trade and promote solutions for wildlife coexistence in communities. Your donation is tax-deductible. Charitable registration number: 130006125RR0002

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