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'Unsettling': Raccoons found suffering in traps at B.C. property

Two of the raccoons were humanely euthanized, due to their injuries.

Three raccoons were allegedly found trapped inhumanely and suffering severe injuries at a B.C. property. 

On Wednesday, the Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals announced details about the alleged incident to remind people that trapping is cruel and ineffective. 

A person living in Mission B.C. called conservation officers after hearing raccoons screaming on Nov. 27, 2023, according to the association. 

Conservation officers and staff with Critter Care Wildlife Society responded to the residential property and allegedly found three raccoons trapped.

“A man living in a neighbouring household, observed this trapped raccoon for over 24 hours,” says a spokesperson with Critter Care Wildlife Society. "For an entire day or longer, the raccoon pulled, screamed, and chewed at his own hand in order to gain freedom.”

While at the property, staff reportedly saw the traps bolted to the deck and the ground.

"Staff freed the raccoon and placed him in a kennel before deciding to walk around the property. [It was] unsettling the numerous traps scattered in the yard,” says the spokesperson. "They found two more raccoons who suffered the same fate as the first."

Critter Care Wildlife Society states the raccoons, all males, had severe injuries.

Two of the three raccoons were humanely euthanized, due to their injuries. The other raccoon suffered significant swelling from the trap but is in care and will hopefully be released back into the wild. 

The Conservation Officer Service (COS) confirms it is investigating an alleged "unlawful" trapping of a raccoon in Mission. 

"As this matter is under investigation, we are unable to provide further information at this time,” says a spokesperson with the COS.

Lesley Fox, executive director at the Fur-Bearers, says cuff traps cause suffering to any animal caught in them and will not resolve any potential issues being faced by residents. 

“The Fur-Bearers remind residents that cuff traps and other body-gripping traps are inherently inhumane devices that cause significant harm to any animal who should trigger them, including non-targeted wildlife and pets,” says Fox.

She encourages people to learn about attractant management and humane, non-lethal services to deal with wildlife.

The Conservation Officer Service states responding to raccoon conflicts is outside their mandate.

“People are encouraged to contact pest control companies or registered trappers for ongoing raccoon issues,” the agency says.

Trapping options are available for raccoons causing property damage, pending municipal or other regulations, adds COS. 

Fox is asking anyone who is concerned about the devices to contact their local MLA.