Raccoon caught in trap in West Vancouver prompts renewed calls for change

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Trapping legislation outdated, according to The Fur-BearersMar 18, 2021 3:43 PM By: Ben Bengtson

egg trap pic (Wendy Roberts)A raccoon was discovered with a trap around its front paw in West Vancouver on March 15.Wendy RobertsWildlife advocates are once again asking for B.C.’s trapping rules to be overhauled after a raccoon was caught in a trap earlier this week and was forced to crawl in pain for an unknown amount of time, eventually landing on a deck in West Vancouver.

Wendy Roberts, who lives with her family in West Van’s Bayridge neighbourhood, says she and her husband overheard an unusual rattling sound on their back deck at around 10 p.m. Monday. “It did sound odd,” she said.

They found the raccoon with its front paw ensnared in a cylindrical holding trap. The raccoon had apparently got caught in the trap and dragged itself onto their property, according to Roberts.

“There was a chain attached to the trap where you would secure it to the ground,” she noted.

Roberts called the B.C. Conservation Officer Service, which dispatched an officer from Squamish to West Vancouver at 10:30 p.m.

By the time the officer arrived, the raccoon had climbed onto a small treehouse in the family’s yard, and the chain had become stuck in the wooden structure, holding the animal in place.

The conservation officer was able to release the critter from the trap and determine that its injuries were non-life threatening before releasing it back into the wild. Roberts commended the COS for their late-night effort.

While it’s illegal to set a trap in B.C. within 200 metres of a dwelling, it is legal to trap and relocate a raccoon without a licence if it’s causing damage to a person’s private property, according to the COS.

In this instance, someone in the neighbourhood had likely set the holding trap because they were dealing with a nuisance raccoon, or raccoons, that were causing damage to their property, said COS spokesman Simon Gravel.

“The investigation did not allow us to know where this trap was coming from,” said Gravel.

While there are exceptions when it comes to trapping on private property, Gravel said it was important for people to education themselves about their options if they’re dealing with a raccoon problem.

“The technique of trapping chosen is very important,” said Gravel, who noted the style of holding trap that the raccoon in West Vancouver got caught in was likely one designed to hold an animal in place with the intent to destroy it – not a live trap method used to relocate and release the animal back into the wild. “That leads me to think that this is not the right tool in an urban setting.”

Gravel recommended always calling a professional when dealing with problem raccoons and visiting the WildSafeBC website for details on non-invasive and non-lethal removal methods.

Lesley Fox, executive director of The Fur-Bearers, a non-profit society dedicated to stopping trapping cruelty, praised the efforts of Roberts and the COS but said the incident reflected a larger issue concerning B.C.’s trapping regulations.

“We’re dealing with legislation that’s really old, and in the current legislation I think most British Columbians would be surprised to learn the majority of traps are still legal – leg-hold traps are still very much legal in the province of B.C. Trapping is not up North in the middle of nowhere. Traps can be set anywhere,” said Fox. “Traps continue to be a problem for all British Columbians and our wildlife trapping regulations need to be overhauled.”

Anyone with information related to cases of illegal trapping is asked to contact the COS Report All Poachers and Polluters line at 1-877-952-RAPP (7277).

While millions of us these days settle in, these critters with their masks on venture out.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/are-we-making-raccoons-smarter/

“This is kind of the interesting thing about the coronavirus, is that now people are beginning to see animals that they didn’t see before,” said Stan Gehrt, a professor at Ohio State University, who has tracked raccoons for more than 20 years.

“We put radio collars on them and we follow them as they move around the city,” he told correspondent Faith Salie. “I’ve watched my study animals disappear as they were riding on top of the garbage truck!”

raccoons-b-620.jpg
The black-masked critters that teach themselves how to break into trash bins are the perfect urban survivalists, and we have ourselves to thank for that.  ALAMY

Suzanne MacDonald, who teaches psychology and biology at York University in Toronto, said, “I have people email me and say that raccoons are evil geniuses out to destroy them. They’re not. Raccoons are not evil geniuses. They are not even geniuses. They are lovely little critters trying to make a living.”

MacDonald said that raccoons’ uniquely sensitive front paws – some might even call them “creepy hands” – are part of their success as a species.  “If you see a raccoon in a river, where they evolved, they put their hands under the water and they ‘feel’ food.”

It’s why raccoons are commonly thought to wash their food.  “They don’t really wash their food, even though their scientific name actually is the ‘bear who washes with their hands,'” said MacDonald. “The ends of their paws are more sensitive under water, that they can actually get a good image of what they’re feeling. And they can kind of see it with their fingers, and then they can eat it.”

raccoon-in-garbage-bin-620.jpg
A tell-tail sign of a raccoon in search of a meal.   POND5

Raccoons are constantly reaching out and grabbing things, because unlike many animals, they’re intensely curious, said Gehrt: “For many other wild animals, when there’s a strange object out there, they have a healthy fear of that. But raccoons are actually attracted to new, novel objects, shiny objects, things that are not normal in the landscape.”

This attraction to the new and shiny is what Gehrt calls “neophilia.”

Salie asked, “So, because of their intelligence and their willingness to try new things, really, we’re just an opposable thumb away from raccoons being our overlords?”

“That’s something that we think about every now and then,” Gehrt replied. “It’s like, ‘If they had an opposable thumb, they might be competition for us.'”

raccoon-c-620.jpg
Raccoons do not have opposable thumbs; that may be what saves us.   POND5

MacDonald exploited the fact that raccoons don’t have opposable thumbs when she volunteered to help the city of Toronto create a raccoon-proof compost bin. 

And it worked! … until a curious raccoon made Toronto’s morning news:https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/2s2RNK0Bmp8?autoplay=0&rel=1

Salie asked, “Was it disheartening to see raccoons get into your raccoon-proof compost bin?”

“Actually, it wasn’t disheartening at all. I thought it was fantastic, and I was so cheering for them to do it!” laughed MacDonald. “Because, you know, it kind of shows that they can overcome everything.”

If city raccoons are more wily than their country cousins, MacDonald says we can thank ourselves: “Over generations of time, we are actually creating the perfect urban raccoon, your perfect urban warrior, because we are making it harder and harder and harder for them to get into our trash bins and get into our houses and get into those things we don’t want them to get into. And those animals that do that, end up surviving. And they are the smart ones. So, it is kind of our problem that we’ve created!”

The lesson of this raccoon “tail”?  The love-hate relationship between people and raccoons isn’t going anywhere, because our crafty, curious neighbors are going everywhere.

So, it’s worth asking: What can we learn by watching raccoons?

MacDonald said, “I think you can learn persistence, and that’s what I’ve learned from them. It’s, like, if you just don’t give up, eventually you’ll get into that trash can. It’s just, you just gotta keep working at it!”

New permit means open season for hunting many furry predators

You can soon hunt raccoons, coyotes, and other furry predators on your private land to help protect bird populations.

It will soon be critter season all year long in Arkansas. It may be the worst news in a while for coyotes since the Acme Roadrunner trap arrived in the mail.

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission voted to relax hunting regulations on certain predator species.

RELATED: UCAPD help save raccoon hilariously stuck in drain grate

“Raccoons, possums, red fox, coyotes — things like that,” said Randy Zellers, the assistant chief of communications for the AGFC. “What it is going to do is give a private landowner to manage on a local level if he feels that predator populations are high and maybe impacting his ground nesting birds in the area.”

Coyotes and possums like quick meals they can get from a quail’s nest. To manage that, you can now set traps or hunt them with a special permit. There doesn’t have to be a set season, and more importantly, no set hours.

“You will be able to harvest bobcat, coyote, skunk, possum, and raccoon day or night,” Zellers said after getting a free predator-control permit. That lets hunters get them when they are out and active.

Officials are not declaring a critter crisis, but the rules needed updating because the days of every kid running around with a Davy Crockett hat are long gone.

“Years ago, people used to trap animals for pelts,” Zellers said. “As that has gone out of style, there’s not as much money involved in trapping animals for pelts.”

Rules are already in place that allow you to shoot predators if they threaten people, pets, or livestock. This new permit means you can do it more efficiently with an eye on wildlife management.

A hunter is also not responsible for having to turn the skin into a coat or a hat if they have the special permit.

Zellers points out that the permit is mainly for people living in the country.

While coyotes and foxes often encroach on suburban or even residential areas in cities, local firearms laws still supersede the special permit regulations.

RELATED: Dad, teens face-off against growling coyote

If you have a raccoon or skunk problem closer to town, the AGFC has standard advice.

“We still recommend the number one thing is remove all the food sources and make sure those animals are not welcome,” Zellers said.

The permits will be available in late August.

Agonizing death of raccoon caught in trap sparks calls for empathy

Animal chewed off own paw after it was caught in a legal trap set in Burnaby neighbourhood

Jason Proctor · CBC News · Posted: Apr 18, 2018 1:16 PM PT | Last Updated: April 18

<https://i.cbc.ca/1.4625319.1524080227!/fileImage/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/16x9_1180/raccoon-trapped.jpg?imwidth=720>

This raccoon was brought into a shelter with its paw caught in a trap. The trap was removed, but the animal chewed its paw off. It was later euthanized. (Critter Care Wildlife Society)

Animal activists say the gory demise of a raccoon that chewed its own paw off after getting caught in a trap last week should be a lesson to would-be backyard vigilantes.

“Anybody using these type of traps, they’re wanting to inflict pain. I don’t know what type of people we have out there,” said Gail Martin, founder of the Langley-based Critter Care Wildlife Society.

“And when I say I am sick of what goes on out there, I am sick of it! People have got to learn to have empathy for other living beings.”

No release for 3-pawed raccoon

The raccoon was brought into Martin’s shelter last Thursday after getting its paw caught in a cuff-style legal trap put out in a mixed residential and industrial use area in Burnaby.

Martin said staff were able to remove the trap, but the animal’s foot was crushed. She said it still would have felt sensation in the paw, despite pain medication and chewed it off overnight.

The raccoon was then euthanized.

“He can’t be released with three paws,” she said. “He has to be able to survive out there.”

<https://i.cbc.ca/1.4625329.1524081272!/fileImage/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/original_1180/raccoon-trapped.jpg?imwidth=720>

The raccoon at rest in the moments after the removal of the trap that crushed its paw. The animal was later euthanized. (Critter Care Wildlife Society)

Martin called for stronger laws and prosecution of people who maim wildlife through the indiscriminate setting of traps.

“People can get hurt. Cats, dogs, children,” she said. “Nobody should be allowed to use these type of traps.”

Raccoons are a frequent irritant on the Lower Mainland, where they regularly roam streets and backyards with their families in search of food.

Solving underlying issues

According to the province, they’re not considered aggressive but can be dangerous if threatened. Dogs are not considered an effective way of getting rid of them.

The province advises homeowners to keep garbage in plastic bags in buildings or sheds, to secure garbage can lids with rubbers straps or hooks and to clean garbage cans with ammonia or bleach.

It’s illegal to poison raccoons, which can be trapped (in season) by registered trappers who have a valid licence. A mother and her babies can’t be removed from a nesting site until the pups are able to leave

Adrian Nelson, with the Association for the Protection of Fur Bearing Animals, says the trap in question is legal. But he questions the morality of anything that would leave an animal in such pain.

“Our biggest recommendation is to bring in a wildlife control company that knows what they’re doing, that uses non-lethal measures,” he said.

“When it comes to trapping animals … we’re not really solving the underlying issue of why that animal is there. So, until we address the attractants or the habitat or whatever is drawing that animal in, we’re just going to continue to have problems.”

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/raccoon-trap-humane-pests-1.4625236

Hunting accident injures man in Yellow Medicine County

http://www.marshallindependent.com/news/news-of-record/2018/04/hunting-accident-injures-man-in-yellow-medicine-county/

YELLOW MEDICINE COUNTY — An 18-year-old man was shot in the ankle in a hunting accident earlier this week, the Redwood County Sheriff’s Office said. The man received non life-threatening injuries, the Sheriff’s Office said.

The Redwood County Sheriff’s Office assisted the Yellow Medicine County Sheriff’s Office with the accident, which was reported at 10:27 p.m. Monday, at the intersection of 208th Avenue and 630th Street in rural Yellow Medicine County. An 18-year-old man was taken to the Granite Falls hospital and interviewed there, the Sheriff’s Office said.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, the man reported he was shot in the right ankle by his friend, who was shooting at a raccoon using a Remington .22 caliber rifle. The victim was transported by ambulance to North Memorial Hospital for surgery.

A news release from the Sheriff’s Office also included some advice from the shooting victim. When asked if he had any additional statements, the victim said, “Remember to use the safety.”

–Deb Gau

URGENT: Speak Out Against Raccoon Torture Event!

URGENT: Speak Out Against Raccoon Torture Event!

Wildlife Photography Copyright Jim Robertson

Wildlife Photography Copyright Jim Robertson

This Saturday, April 12, Leslie County, Kentucky, is reportedly holding “Coon on a Log” races! These sadistic events (apparently sponsored by the sheriff’s department this year) involve setting frantic dogs loose upon caged raccoons who have been hauled across bodies of water and perched on tiny rafts. Imagine the terror that these wild animals experience as they are snatched from their families, held captive, and then forced to endure this hellish ordeal repeatedly. A spectator at last year’s event says that the dogs are allowed to “bite at” the raccoons, who are sometimes “knocked into the water” and “pulled back up to go another round.” The spectator said that one raccoon was even “bleeding and near death.”

Please urge Leslie County officials to search their hearts and help end this barbaric practice for good. Also ask them to transfer all trapped animals used in this year’s event to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. Then please forward this alert far and wide!

Sign petition here: https://secure.peta.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=5415&login=true&utm_campaign=Raccoon%20Torture&utm_source=PETA%20E-Mail&utm_medium=Alert

 

 

 

Action Alert for Raccoons

URGENT UPDATE! In spite of receiving hundreds of calls in opposition to HB 423, a bill that would allow LIVE raccoons to be trapped and used as bait in hunting field trail competitions, the Senate Natural Resources and Environment Committee approved this bill.

We must fight harder than ever. Committee members obviously had already made up their minds, but your senators may be undecided. They do not want to lose your vote. Your Georgia state senators MUST hear from you! Urge them to vote NO on HB 423!

To find your senator’s contact info follow the easy steps below:

1. For your State Senator click: http://votesmart.org/
2. Type your address or 9 digit zip code in the box and click "Search." (If your address doesn't bring the page up your 9 digit zip code will.)
4. Click "State Legislative."
5. Beneath "State Senate" your senator's name is underlined. Click his/her name.
6. Your senator's email address and phone contact information appears.
7. Call your senator at the capitol number AND the district number and ask him/her to "vote NO on HB 423."
8. The subject line of your email should read: Vote NO on HB 423
URGENT UPDATE! In spite of receiving hundreds of calls in opposition to HB 423, a bill that would allow LIVE raccoons to be trapped and used as bait in hunting …field trail competitions, the Senate Natural Resources and Environment Committee approved this bill.
We must fight harder than ever. Committee members obviously had already made up their minds, but your senators may be undecided. They do not want to lose your vote. Your Georgia state senators MUST hear from you! Urge them to vote NO on HB 423!
To find your senator’s contact info follow the easy steps below:
1. For your State Senator click: http://votesmart.org/ 2. Type your address or 9 digit zip code in the box and click “Search.” (If your address doesn’t bring the page up your 9 digit zip code will.) 4. Click “State Legislative.” 5. Beneath “State Senate” your senator’s name is underlined. Click his/her name. 6. Your senator’s email address and phone contact information appears. 7. Call your senator at the capitol number AND the district number and ask him/her to “vote NO on HB 423.” 8. The subject line of your email should read: Vote NO on HB 423