By Vivianna Shields
Signal Staff Writer
Animal advocates have put together a $5,000 reward after a raccoon was found dead in an illegal steel-jaw trap on the 28000 block of Rock Canyon Drive in Saugus, earlier this week, according to a PETA news release.
Initially, the reward was set at $1,000 by Wildlife Emergency Services, but to catalyze the process, PETA donated $4,000 to the reward.
“We responded to the call and determined that the trap that was attached to the animal was an illegal trap,” said Tim Daly, information officer at the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
In California, and many other states in the United States, steel-jaw traps are illegal. These traps immobilize animals, and animals trapped with this device often struggle for hours or days with the trap, because there is no way to be released on their own, according to the PETA website.
“Any animal that finds itself in such a situation will panic from shock, pain and fear,” said a Wildlife Crime Aware news release. “It will naturally try to force itself out of the hold — only to fail and cause more pain and suffering.”
The raccoon in Saugus was found wedged between branches in a homeowner’s tree, who was not the one who trapped the animal initially, Daly says.
“Opinion of the biologist who was on the scene of the incident said that the animal was trapped elsewhere and traveled with the trap attached to them and died somewhere else,” said Daly. Suffocation is the likely cause for the raccoon’s death, he added.
“For folks who do not want raccoons in their backyards, be sure to put the trash out (in a secure bin) and don’t leave pet food outside,” said Daly, “If you want to trap a raccoon in your lawn, you need a trapping permit which you can get through the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.”
If you have additional information on the case, contact the Department of Fish and Wildlife CalTip line at 888-334-2258.