Maimed raccoons lead to hunt for illegal traps

Tanglewood resident Judy Hobart was taking a walk in her neighborhood recently when she heard a loud clanking noise.

Hobart said she turned and saw a raccoon scurrying up a tree. She said she thought nothing of it–until she realized a cylindrical trap around the animal’s leg was making the clanking sound.

In recent weeks, several Tanglewood residents have said they’ve also encountered maimed raccoons. Some have reported the encounters on the neighborhood social media app Nextdoor.

racoon
Resident James Devine posted this on the neighborhood social app Nextdoor.

Residents contacted the Fort Worth Police department and other area agencies that deal with humane treatment of animals. Fort Worth Animal Control is investigating the crime.

“Neighbors have spotted cases of raccoons in the neighborhood with amputated, crushed and lacerated legs and paws,” said resident James Devine.  “These are usually clear signs of the use of illegal leg-hold traps.”

Residents said they worry that the traps could also injure children and pets.

“I am just concerned for the safety of all the animals, wild and domesticated,” resident Kris Russell said. “Lots of children play at the park near there and I worry about their safety as well.”

Fort Worth Police Officer Mario Capello said leg-hold traps are illegal in the city. Leg-hold traps frequently cause animals to chew off the captured limb to escape.

Hobart said when she went to check on the injured raccoon she saw something even more troubling.

“The tree I spotted the trapped raccoon trying to make her way up on still has some little ones in the hole… I hope the mother raccoon did not die and leave babies up there,” she said.

Residents contacted the Fort Worth Police department and other area agencies that deal with humane treatment of animals. Fort Worth Animal Control is currently investigating the crime.

There are currently no leads and no traps have been found.