Friday, January 7, 2011

Cruelty or animal control?

WARNING: Content might be considered controversial.
I saw something on Facebook yesterday that made me feel rather sad. One man posted photo’s of (what looks like) a wolf to me. It looked rather fierce, but then again, my paw has never been caught in a steel trap before. Can you blame it?

I asked the man whether he kills these animals. I’m sure he is not putting these traps out for nature conservation. So what does he do with the animals once they’re trapped? Certainly it must be painful and I won’t be surprised if a foot gets amputated or bones crushed. If you were going to injure an animal like that and just leave it somehow I would consider you very cruel. His reply to me was “well if i get one alive il prob keep in a cage or sumn but i havn kept any alive this year yet”
My thought: If you’re going to trap them and injure them in such a cruel way you’d better kill them or tend to them medically but “prob keep in a cage or sumn” just doesn’t cut it for me! You don’t sound like someone who has thought through the repercussions of your (seemingly foolish) actions.

I do understand the issue that the US has in certain areas with an overgrown wolf population. I’ve read again this week of an area where the wolves are now starting on moose after having almost depleted the elk in the area as a food source. At one time the moose population was almost wiped out and it took careful management over time to restore it to healthy numbers. Now the wolves are laying into moose and threatening the area’s species again.
What is of greater concern is not just that the elk numbers are dropping, but the fact that the wolves are seemingly not just killing to feed anymore. In some instances the pregnant elk females are sought out, the fetus/baby torn from its body and the animal left for dead. I can understand how that is a concern. So I’m not saying that managing wolf herds is wrong, but I do think it matters how you do it.

What about other animals that get caught in these traps like this raccoon for instance?
Click to view BUT beware sensitive viewers
Yes, I agree, wolves are a problem and they need to be managed more strictly but is trapping an animal in this way the best way to do it? Should anyone be allowed to do this kind of thing or should it be done by a controlling body of some sort? Could it perhaps be compared to someone who takes the law into their own hands, thinking they’re doing everyone else a favour? And what if you do trap, but in other ways – a cage concept maybe, or a net that ties up – something that doesn’t leave the animal in pain or mutated, suffering? If you’re going to kill it, do so without causing the animal agony. What about rather being allowed to hunt wolves like you would deer, or having park rangers control numbers like they would in nature reserves? Level the playing field; make it fair.

Seeing these pictures made me feel sad. I do believe that humans have been given the responsibility to manage part of nature. I don’t think that hunting in a wise way, considering nature (and not wasting what has been killed, or killing senselessly) is essentially bad. But if you’re going to be an idiot about it – cruel, thoughtless, careless destruction – then it certainly makes me angry, as much as it makes me sad.


  1. Who is this looser? Why doesn't he find better things to do with his time...Yuck that's terrible I would like to see his hand in the trap! Looserrrrrrrrrr

  2. I had the privilege of visiting an animal rehab facility in SA where most animals - even some birds - were trapped with these kind of devices. One of the female lions were so badly hurt - and left for dead - that she has been traumatized fo...r years afterward. Even those who wanted to help her were threatened by her because of her association of people with her suffering. When they rescue the animals they actually collect the traps so that they can show people just what it looks like and how many of them they find. Some animals paws were completely snapped off and some can not survive in nature anymore because of what had happened to them. It broke my heart and these photo's reminded me of what I had seen and learnt there.

  3. That is horrible! :(

  4. And yet he has some telling him how cool / great it is when they look at his trapping photo's. How sad! :(