The Portland Press Herald is reporting that at least 20 lynx were inadvertently trapped in addition to the two killed this year, requiring emergency policy change prohibiting the use of Conibear (and other lethal body-grippers) and leg-hold traps in the northern parts of the state.
“A trapper reported the first lynx death last month after finding it in one of his legally set traps in northern Aroostook County,” wrote Press Herald reporter Kevin Miller. “A game warden conducting routine trap checks found the second lynx on Sunday in St. Croix Township. That trap also had been set in accordance with the department’s rules. Because both traps were legally set, neither trapper is likely to face repercussions.”
It didn’t take long for those who oppose trapping to note that these deaths were easily foreseeable.
“It’s a tragedy that these two lynx had to die for this ‘I told you so’ moment,” Daryl DeJoy, executive director of the Wildlife Alliance of Maine, told the Press Herald. “And there is a lot more that goes on in the woods of Maine than people hear about.”
The deaths of two federally protected Canada lynx in Maine are another blow to the concept that trappers can successfully manage populations of wildlife or can prevent non-target catch.
Traps are inanimate, indiscriminate machines that capture – and are capable of killing – any animal that activates them. The only way to prevent more deaths and more pain of animals – be they domestic or wild – is to end the use of these traps entirely.