SANTA CLARITA (CBSLA) — A $5,000 reward was offered Friday for information leading to the person who used an illegal foothold trap that led to the death of a raccoon in the Santa Clarita area.
The raccoon’s front paw was caught in an illegal foot trap and it dragged the heavy metal trap and chain, eventually getting trapped in a tree in the 28000 block of Rock Canyon Road where it died, the Wildlife Emergency Services wrote in a Facebook post.
The Wildlife Emergency Services originally offered a $1,000 reward Thursday and by Friday the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) added $4,000 raising the total to $5,000.
“From a photograph provided by a resident near Copper Hill in Santa Clarita, it appears a raccoon was snared by an illegal foothold trap — banned in California — and became entangled in a tree where it subsequently perished,” Wildlife Emergency Services CEO Rebecca Dmytryk said.
The photo showed the animal trapped in what appeared to be a pomegranate tree with multiple fruits hanging from its branches.
“Often, trapping is a method used to get rid of `nuisance’ animals, but it is an outdated practice,” Dmytryk said. “The animals are not the actual problem — their presence is a symptom, indicating a reliable food source nearby.”
Dmytryk and PETA officials hope the reward will lead toward information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever was responsible for setting the trap.
“The terror and agony that this trapped raccoon must have felt as he or she desperately tried to escape is hard to imagine,” said PETA Vice President Colleen O’Brien. “PETA urges anyone with information about this crime to come forward immediately so that whoever set this illegal trap can be held accountable and stopped from hurting anyone else.”
Anyone with information on the case was urged to contact Wildlife Emergency Services at firstname.lastname@example.org or report anonymously through the state Department of Fish and Wildlife CalTip line at 888-334-CalTIP.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife was notified by the agency.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)