Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Canada: Ontario police shoot lynx dragging illegal trap

MNR tracking owner of illegal trap
Lynx shot Saturday near psych hospital

Posted By Dave Dale
Updated 1 day ago

The Ministry of Natural Resources North Bay is trying to track down the owner of an illegal trap that was attached to a lynx police shot Saturday near the Northeast Mental Health Centre.

Reg Devost, MNR conservation officer, said the person responsible is likely a "poacher" because trappers prefer neck snares for lynx.

"There's a technique to it," Devost told The Nugget Monday after talking to people who have registered traplines in the area.

He said the trap in question is a #4 Victor Longspring Leghold and isn't certified or legal to use, adding that the #3 Victor is legal, but it needs to be secured with better wire than was used.

"We don't feel it was set by a licensed trapper . . . we feel it was somebody poaching for lynx," Devost said.

The animal was found in a "distressed" condition near the entrance of Redpath Engineering on Highway 11 North, a leghold trap dragging from its front right limb.

Brian Doucette, an avid hunter, alerted The Nugget to the incident after admiring the cat during a rare sighting in the morning and then seeing armed North Bay Police Service officers and the North Bay and District Humane Society in the area later in the day.

Doucette didn't understand why they would kill an animal that's so rare and looked healthy.

"It had a nice, beautiful coat, with the black tips on his ears . . . it was a beautiful animal, it didn't look sick or anything," he said.

"It's a rarity to see these animals. I don't know why they'd end up shooting it."

Yvon Montcalm, a media spokesman with North Bay police community programs, said police officers responded to reports of the lynx dragging a trap attached to one leg.

Montcalm said it would have died a "lingering death" had it been startled and run off into the bush, suggesting shooting it was the best option.

Humane Society manager Daryl Vaillancourt said he was briefed about the situation by staff who attended the call Saturday and took possession of the body until it could be delivered to the MNR.

Vaillancourt said "time is of the essence" in a situation where a wild animal is wounded, "distressed" and running loose close to where people live.

When informed a trap was attached to the lynx, Doucette said it was easier to understand why police decided to shoot it.


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