Wednesday, January 13, 2010

More Leg Hold Trap Injuries, Red-tailed Hawk, Great-horned Owl

It has been a whirlwind of a few days here at REGI. I have several lectures coming up starting tomorrow, the education team is busy with school programs and the rehabilitation team is also busy with some awful new cases.

( Photo: This adult Great-horned Owl was caught in a leg hold trap. He voiced his opinion about that loudly and often today as we tending his injury.)

( Photo: The toe of the Great-horned Owl was caught in a leg hold trap meant for a coyote. A large trap, it did some real damage to the toe. Notice the swelling of the digit due to crushing of the bone and tissue. Owls need all of their talons to be in working order to hunt adequately. We hope this one can recover and be released again. But, he will miss breeding season this year. )

Sadly, we have had even more leg hold trap injuries. They are not for the faint of heart, but it is something we deal with often. Stop here if you don't want to see some awful stuff.

( Photo: This beautiful adult Red-tailed Hawk was trapped in a jaw leg hold trap likely meant for a Coyote, Bobcat or Muskrat. )

I think the only way to discourage this careless activity is for everyday people to see what happens way to often to protected "non-target_ species. People tell me that we must " get used to it", but you never do. The Red-tailed Hawk in these photos was obviously "released" from the trap by a human. He was then left to starve since he was unable to hunt. The injury occurred at least a week before he was found and brought to our clinic. I cannot even fathom the pain he was in for that time. He was humanely euthanized upon arrival at REGI. You also never get "used" to that.

( Photo: Leg hold trap injuries are brutal. This leg and the life of the bird, could not be saved as the foot had lost circulation days before the bird was brought into REGI.)

These injuries were "accidental" as the raptors are non-target species. They were likely legally set traps. Trappers have to be aware of "non-target wildlife" when they place traps. Sadly many appear to not have that knowledge.

But enough about my day. :( We hope for a brighter tomorrow.

Please remember the people in Haiti tonight, as I will. They have a struggle ahead that we can only imagine, after the tragic earthquake yesterday.

Marge Gibson © 2010

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