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Pregnant fox rescued from leg-hold trap in B.C.; animal society hopeful paw will be saved

The injured fox was found near Houston, B.C., and is currently under the care of the Northern Lights Wildlife Society.
The injured fox was found near Houston, B.C., and is currently under the care of the Northern Lights Wildlife Society. Northern Lights Wildlife Society

A wildlife society is again calling for B.C. to ban leg-hold traps after a pregnant fox was found caught in the steel-jawed device earlier this month, dragging it along before being rescued.

The Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals called the fox’s rescue a harrowing story, adding that leg-hold traps are indiscriminate devices that cause devastating injuries.

The fox was found near Houston, B.C., and is currently under the care of the Northern Lights Wildlife Society.

The pregnant fox following surgery to its paw.
The pregnant fox following surgery to its paw. Northern Lights Wildlife Society

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“The provincial government has shown they are incapable of preventing outrageous acts of cruelty caused by both legal and illegal leg-hold traps,” Lesley Fox, executive director at The Fur-Bearers said in a press release.

“They can point to trapping standards and regulations all they want: the reality is we’re seeing horrific injuries to native wildlife as well as domestic animals like dogs and cats from these traps. As it is the duty of the province to be the stewards of wildlife in the public trust, we are calling on them to finally end the use of these dangerous devices in our province.”

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The Northern Lights Wildlife Society of Smithers, B.C., says the fox was found and rescued by a group of people on Sunday, March 22.

The fox gave birth to four kits, with three surviving, two males and a female.
The fox gave birth to four kits, with three surviving, two males and a female. Northern Lights Wildlife Society

“It turned out that the lady that brought the fox to us had been out all night fighting an apartment fire in her community and upon returning home saw the fox on her property,” the Northern Lights Wildlife Society said on its website.

“Despite being bone tired and in need of a relaxing shower, she and a few others spent 1.5 hours following the fox until they could finally catch her. They removed the trap and, realizing the scope of damage, called us.”

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The Northern Lights Wildlife Society said the woman then drove an hour to drop the fox off, calling her “an amazing example of a wonderful, compassionate human.”

The society says the fox had suffered greatly, and that all four bones in her front paw were broken in an open fracture. Following surgery in Smithers, the society said it is now waiting to see if the paw can be saved.

A fox kit being fed.
A fox kit being fed. Northern Lights Wildlife Society

“We can’t find the words to share how disgusted we are with individuals who use traps. This is torture and indiscriminate,” said the society.

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“This female could have already been nursing pups this time of year (which thankfully she is not) and her young would have been fated with slow starvation after their mother’s death.”

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The Fur-Bearers say several municipalities have requested provincial permission to write bylaws outlawing specific types of traps in their borders.

“Every day animals are suffering, and to what degree we can’t say because traps are set then left; authorities only investigate traps if there are reports,” said Fox.

A close-up of the pregnant fox’s injury.
A close-up of the pregnant fox’s injury. Northern Lights Wildlife Society

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The Northern Lights Wildlife Society told Global News on Wednesday that the fox gave birth to four kits, but that one died. The remaining kits are two males and one female.

The society also said they are hopeful the paw will be saved, adding blood is circulating, but that it “won’t be a quick fix.”

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