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Mutilated racoon

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Last night I spotted a racoon eating the cat food. I always enjoy watching the racoons (they are so goofy!), so I got my flashlight and shined it on him. He looked at me and I saw that his nose and the front part of his upper jaw had been bitten off! It was so horrific I almost threw up. Then after he ate for a while he turned to walk away and I saw his back leg was mangled. What was left of his face was bright red and raw and I could see raw red wounds on his leg, but there was no blood, so the wounds weren't real fresh. I don't know whether to trap him and take him to the vet to be put down, or to let nature take its course. I could hardly sleep after seeing that. I feel so bad for all the pain he must be in.

Should I trap him or just let him be? Would it be more traumatic to be in the trap, carried to the vet, anesthetized and then euthenized or to just be let alone to die in peace?
post #2 of 17
Personally, I think the most humane thing to do would be to trap him and have him euthanized. Not only is he probably in a great deal of pain, but I'd be concerned that he had contracted rabies and could become dangerous to you and your pets.
post #3 of 17
Renae, It is so upsetting that you have to make this terrible decision. I always try to make the choice for life if there is any hope at all. But the vet would be the only one who could answer that question. It looks hopeless, from the heartbreaking description you've given. My heart breaks, though, that the poor little thing is fighting what seems to be inevitable, by nourishing himself. I would trap him and hope that if treatment is at all possible, there is a fund for wild animals. How very sad. My tears make it hard for me to type. God bless you and that poor little animal,
post #4 of 17
Renae he has wounds indicative of him being caught in a trap. As the animal gnaws on the object that is holding his leg there are on some of these barbaric traps a second bar that snaps down and hits the animal on the nose. Somehow, this heroic animal got loose and has to be in incredible pain. If you do trap him, please know that he might carry rabies so be very careful how you handle him. He is going to be very defensive, aggressive, and when a raccoon is in pain, it is not pretty what they can do to someone they perceive is trying to hurt them (although you are not going to hurt him, he will not know this) Better if someone is a skilled marksman and can end his torment with one clean shot.
post #5 of 17
I agree with Hissy, it would be better if someone could put him down without you having to trap him again. Although if you're like me and live in the city, that's not really possible. You'd have the police called for firing a gun within city limits. Maybe call animal control and have them do it? They might have a tranq gun to use?
post #6 of 17
Hmm. From your discription that does sound really bad. I would personally advise that you call around and see if you can get somone else who works with wild life to come out and help you trap him, or deal with him in what manner they see fit.

I highly doubt he will live much longer, specially with the jaw problem and doesn't sound like he could defend himself either. There is the chance that trapping and transporting will take a real toll on him. But that's why I think you should call someone and see what they think.
Just don't get yourself hurt, I know your probably eager to help this little baby.
post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
I've trapped injured racoons before. When we lived in the woods, the racoons would pull and chew their legs off to escape leg-hold traps and would make it to our house for help. We have a wonderful lady who does wildlife rehab and has done wonders with the racoons. Although the others have been pretty messed up from the traps, their injuries were not this severe. Having seen the incredible amount of work it takes to rehab a cat or dog who lost part of their snout through accidental injuries, I can't imagine this being possible a wild adult racoon. (Adult racoons are very mean and can be very dangerous.)

Mary Anne, I had not heard about the second part of the leg-hold traps that can cut off the animal's snout. That is so sick that humans can think it is okay to do that to an animal. I assumed this racoon was attacked by a dog, but the wound looked more like a slice than a tear, so perhaps it was from a trap. Although I live in the city, it is a rural community and the woods aren't more than a half mile away.

Our animal control officer has an IQ of about 10, so I can't trust him to take care of the racoon in a humane manner. I think I'll call the vet and see whether he would be willing to come to my house after I trap the coon to put him down.
post #8 of 17
I love Raccoons having nursed several back to health. Here are four babies whose mom was killed that I had here last spring. I feel so bad for this guy in your backyard Renae, I hope you can end his misery soon.

hmm I deleted the picture in this thread
post #9 of 17
It's so weird Mary Anne - I don't see a link or pictures. ???? That happened with one other thread of yours, too - where there should've been something there and there wasn't.

Renae - how gut-wrenching and awful. That poor, poor creature. We frequently have raccoon visitors - thankfully there's no trapping around here.

Renae, whatever you do, please be careful. I'm so sorry!
post #10 of 17
Coincidentally, there were two posts in the last 12 hours or so dealing with the cruelty of traps. Please read the thread on minks and this post that Sandie gave us last night.
post #11 of 17
Renae.....I would definetely trap this poor coon and put it out of it's misery. I just went in the other room after reading this and asked my husband if he had ever heard of a leg hold trap that has a second bar that snaps down on their nose. He says he has never heard of this. He said it isn't even in any of his trapping magazines.
MaryAnne, I am not saying you are wrong, because we live in a small area and maybe he just hasn't ever heard of it, and that doesn't mean it doesn't exist, so please don't think I am saying you are wrong.
I told him also about the coon you saw, Renae, and he said it sounded to him like it had either been shot, or hit by a car, not caught in a trap.
Either way....the poor thing needs to be put out of it's misery, and that just breaks my heart to think it is suffering like that!!!!

I also just talked to Brent about the whole trapping discussion going on here....and although I have alread posted a long post about it in the other thread here....I wanted to add a few more things here....
My husband is alot of things....and most of them I have called him myself...but one thing he is not, is inhumane.
He told me just now, that when he traps a coon....it dies instantly....just like a mouse trap.....how many mice do you see knawing their legs off to get out of the mouse trap....he said if they are chewing their legs off....then the trapper should not even be trapping, because they are not doing it right. I'm not saying this doesn't happen, because it does...and it is barbaric, but what I am saying is that the people who set traps where the coon has to chew their leg off to get out should not be trapping!!! That is horrible!!! He said that the only time leg hold traps should be used is in water....where they will drown within seconds, not have to starve or chew their legs off.
I know this sounds very barbaric....but if you read my other post here you will see why I believe it is necessary....and also....why is it that people think it is okay to set mouse traps....but mention a coon, fox or mink being trapped and everyone is up in arms....are not the lives of the mice just as important, even though they are much smaller?????
Yes, we trap mice because they are in our house....our territory and eating our food, ect.....we want them out. Well, the coon are eating the farmers crops....costing them thousands of dollars a year and over populating to the point of disease....they get so thick they interbreed, and interbreed and interbreed and then the diseases set in wiping out thousands of them by natures own population control. So is it better to let them over populate, interbreed and die a slow death by disease, not to mention their diseases get spread to pets and humans, or is it better to trap them and kill them in a fast way and keep their popluation under control?
Everyone talks bad about trappers.....would anyone care to think what this country would be like if their were no trappers???? It would be like if you never set a mouse trap in your house....and you just let all the mice live, and breed and breed and breed.........you would eventually have to move out of your house, because the mice would take over! Just my opinion.
post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 
Debby, there is an interesting article in this month's Discover magazene. It is about how our forests are so unhealthy because Americans hate to kill deer. I guess I can see how a similar problem can come from there being too many racoons and possums out there.

But, as easy as it is to catch racoons in humane traps (believe me...I have caught lots of them while trying to trap feral cats), I can't for the life of me understand the necessity for leg-hold traps. They seem to be very popular around here, which really makes me mad, not only because of what they do to the racoons, but also because there are so many hunting dogs, feral cats, and kids roaming the woods. It makes me shudder to think of how many unintended victims of traps there must be out there.

One of the reasons leg-hold traps are used is so that the fur on the body is not damaged. How does the trap that your husband uses manage to kill the animal without damaging the fur? I am not being confrontive here..I really want to understand how it works.

Hunting is a topic that tears me up. I think it is cruel and barbaric, but since we have eliminated the natural preditors in the USA, hunting is the only way we have to manage animal populations. And, as the article in Discover says, unmanaged populations can cause unmeasurable damage to the environment.

This is one of those topics in which my brain says one thing and my heart says something different, and I just can't get the two to work together in deciding what I believe is the right thing to do.
post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
The injured racoon didn't come around last night (or if it did, I missed it), so it may have died.

But I did manage to catch a very confused and very healthy racoon. They just crack me up....once I saw that there was something in the trap I went out, saw it was the wrong coon, propped open the trap door and high-tailed it into the house. When I went back out to re-fill the food bowl...the bowl was gone! The racoon I trapped carried it off with her when she left the trap! :laughing: :laughing: Well...I guess she deserved to take the bowl with her after having to spend a few minutes stuck in the trap!
post #14 of 17

The trap in question I saw at a show Mike and I were attending last year. It was an outdoor gun and knife show and the trap was a new design modified by this one gentleman. He was in the process of marketing it up here, so with what Renae described, it sounded to me like he might of been successful.

My husband makes custom knives, and I find myself in the kind of predicament as others. My heart says hunting is wrong, but it is this that keeps food on my table too. I don't mind those who hunt because they need the food, but those who hunt for sport are the ones I have the most trouble with.

And I am with Renae, all leg traps should be banned. There are other ways of trapping wild critters besides one that puts them in such horrible pain.
post #15 of 17
Originally posted by lotsocats
Debby, there is an interesting article in this month's Discover magazene. It is about how our forests are so unhealthy because Americans hate to kill deer. I guess I can see how a similar problem can come from there being too many racoons and possums out there.

Hunting is a topic that tears me up. I think it is cruel and barbaric, but since we have eliminated the natural preditors in the USA, hunting is the only way we have to manage animal populations. And, as the article in Discover says, unmanaged populations can cause unmeasurable damage to the environment.
I use to be totally against hunting and thought the same way. After taking my BA in Environmental Management and being around 'ethical' hunting, I am now for the practice. Natural predators are no longer able to manage the natural balance because of human interference in the ecosystems. Disease then takes over in these populations and results in very slow deaths which then are passed on to the young and other animals. A very sick ecosystem is the result.

Also, 'ethical' hunting ( and I stress ethical) by experienced hunters gives the least amount of suffering to the animals (because the animals are living in their natural environments). Compare this life, to the grocery store 'animals' who are mass produced in a stressful environment and sometimes contained in such a small environment that the animal cannot move.

The latest fad in beef is produced by keeping the animal for it's whole life in a holding bin. It is not allowed to move, fed only beer and massaged daily. This is meat that consumers are paying huge amounts of money for since it is the most tender.

post #16 of 17
I don't know of many cases of man interfering with the balance of nature that we have not done the wrong thing! And environmentalists are considered to be kooks! Well, we do have to weigh the consequences if human life is at stake, but we don't usually make good choices. I hope the "pleasure" of killing the pumas, bears, wolves and other natural predators was worth the cost! There are more deer being killed on Pennsylvania highways than are taken in hunting season in all the other states combined. We still have the forests, but not the predators. One course in college biology should be enough to open the eyes of humankind, but evidently not! My heart breaks for the deer, but I see no merciful way out of this dilemma.
post #17 of 17
Renae, I'm not sure how he keeps from damaging the fur, I will have to ask him. All I know is he only uses the leg hold traps in areas of water where the animal will not be alive for more than a few minutes or suffer needlessly. I have such a huge problem with these jerks who call themselves trappers but don't check their traps daily! That is illigal actually, I believe, but Brent said some people do it and he is very much against it as well! The traps should be checked several times a day to make sure that no animal is still alive or suffering.
I know this is a touchy subject and I am glad noone has flamed me for it. I really wish my husband didn't trap, even though I know it is necessary. It still makes me sad.
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