There are growing concerns over raccoons seen missing paws in Oak Bay, apparently after being caught in leg hold traps, and a growing reward to help find the person responsible.
Marla and Henry Berchard first sighted the injured animals in their Carrick Street backyard in January. After seeing four different raccoons with front limbs amputated at different points, they decided it had to be due to someone in the area setting leg hold traps.
They began a postering campaign in May, offering a reward for information, that attracted attention from Oak Bay Police who have opened an investigation and issued a public warning.
Leg hold traps aren’t illegal in BC, but regulations say they can’t be set within 200 metres of a home or school, effectively meaning they aren’t allowed in urban areas.
After the posters went up, the sightings stopped, until last week, when Henry photographed a new raccoon, a nursing mother, with a front limb missing in their yard.
With donations from the Association for the Protection of Fur-bearing Animals and other individual donors, the couple have raised a $4,500 reward for information.