Click on these images to enlarge them and get a better look. This trap was set in a field, without owner permission. It was not properly tagged with the identification of the trapper . It was also baited with turkey feathers visible - poor practice as it will catch hawks and owls and other non-target species. In addition, it was discovered that the field has numerous traps set throughout and the trapper has not been back for weeks to check his traps. If not for a sharp-eyed hiker, this fox would have die a horrible slow and painful death.
Because the trap was improprly maintained by the trapper and the metal was literally frozen shut, the trap couldn't be removed in the field. The fox was transfered into a carrier with the heavy trap still on his foot. In the surgical room hand tools had to be used to force the jaws of the trap open so that this foxes foot could be removed. It is a double coil spring trap, the size normally used for trapping coyotes. The numerous onlookers shook their heads in disbelief that barbaric trapping like this is still legal. Many people think they have been outlawed- not so! Traps like this are still being used everywhere!
This photo shows the damage to the foxes foot caused by the trap. How can the trappers say that no damage is done and that the traps aren't painful? Imagine slamming your fingers so hard in a car door so that they are severed. These toes are only held on by skin and will have to be amputated surgically to save the foxes life. be sure to click on the image to get a good look at the damage.
This photo shows the damage to the foxes toes caused by the trappers trap. The toes are clearly severed and need to be removed to save the foxes life. Being in this trap must have been extremely painful. This gorgeous 11.6 lb male fox clearly had a mate that had worn a heavy path in the snow as she frantically paced back and forth while he struggled in the trap. Our goal is to be able to release this fox back into the same area so he can rejoin his mate. Foxes are paired this time of year and are monogomous.
Here is what is left of this beautiful foxes foot after his toes were surgically removed. It is important that he be kept clean and on antibiotics so that infection doesn't set in. Clicking on the image will enlarge it.
Here is the sweet face of the fox as he is getting his bandages changed after the amputation of his toes. He is a big beautiful fox that needs to be free again soon. If people only knew how gentle, sweet and intelligent foxes are, they would never wear fur or allow such harm to come to them.
This is the fox after his three toes had to be amputated because of a trap. He is a very gentle and passive patient.
Under the snow is a large pile of skinned fox carcasses left by the same trapper who left the field full of set traps. He hasn't been back to check his traps and they pose a deadly threat to wildlife and domestic animals that are going to happen upon them. It is a shame that such beautiful animals are killed for their fur still today. Among this pile were a number of "non-target catches" that were unfortunate enough to get caught in the steel jaws. The trapper killed those too and added them to the pile.
Laid out like a minefield, these traps are set throughout this field behind the church. Only the trapper, who has not been back in weeks to check his illegally set traps knows where they are. Before the fox is re-released back to the wild, this field must be scanned carefully with metal detectors to locate and remove the traps.