Yesterday, an Animal Control Officer in Port St. Lucie rescued a raccoon who had been caught in an illegal leghold trap. The poor animal’s front paw had to be amputated (a report by Fox 29 News features a photo of the raccoon’s horrific injuries).
In 1972, Florida banned the use of steel-jaw leghold traps, but they are still widely used by trappers in other states to catch raccoons, coyotes, bobcats and other fur-bearing animals. When an animal steps on a leghold trap, the trap’s jaws slam closed on the animal’s limb. The animals efforts to escape often lead to serious injuries.
If you ever hear someone defend trapping as humane, or if you’ve ever considered purchasing a coat with fur trim, please remember the sad photo of this raccoon.