For the second time in five months, an animal has been found stuck in a bodygripping trap in Surrey - this time, behind an elementary school.
The first incident was last fall, when a raccoon was found in a shed on 155th Street with its front paw clamped in a leghold trap. It had to be euthanized.
Then, on Feb. 19, an owl was found with its leg stuck in a leghold trap in a park behind Kirkbride Elementary school.
Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society (O.W.L.) took in the owl. It couldn't fly more than three feet in the air when it was found, due to the weight of the trap.
Bev Day, founding director of O.W.L., said it was alarming to find a trap so close to a school.
"My worry is the kids and the dogs. Any trap is a concern to us," Day said. "There are dogs in this area and, of course the kids, too - if they touched it, they could've broken a finger."
Day said O.W.L. looked through the area for traps, but didn't find any more. O.W.L. representatives also called the school to alert them of the trap, and put up posters in the area.
After hearing about the trap, Kirkbride Elementary staff told students to stay on the path and not to go into the woods.
The owl seems to be doing well, Day said, but it's not yet known if it will regain enough strength in its leg to hunt again. His wounds from the trap went down to the bone, she said.
After the raccoon was euthanized last fall, Lesley Fox, executive director of the Fur-Bearer Defenders, urged Surrey city council to ban bodygripping traps: Conibear, leghold and snare. Fox would like to see such traps banned on city and private property.
Fox said the bodygripping traps are not only cruel to animals, but are also a public safety concern.
"I'm just waiting for a kid to get their hand stuck in one of these traps," Fox said. "They could be curious and stick their hand in it. It's just an accident waiting to happen."
Fox said animals are being injured and killed in these traps all the time.
In Gibsons last June, Mui Mui, a black cat, was caught in a Conibear trap on a neighbouring property.
The trap was attached to the fence by a hook and the cat lay ensnared between the trap's clamps. The cat survived and the vet bill was reported to be more than $1,000.
In April of last year, a dog named Sammie was caught in a leghold trap while walking along a trail in West Sechelt with her owner. The veterinary bill was $680.
A six-year-old German Shepherd mix named Sasha was killed in a Conibear trap in Kelowna in 2010.
And this February, it was reported that a Calgary dog was found by a rescue agency with a missing leg. It's suspected that he gnawed it off to escape from a trap.
Some municipalities have bylaws banning certain types of traps: A Coquitlam bylaw states that no person may use a leghold trap in the area, and last summer Gibsons banned all "bodyholding traps."
Since 2008, Surrey has had a policy of not using animal traps itself, but there are no bylaw provisions banning the use by the city or anyone else.
City staff said Tuesday that a bylaw relating to traps is in the process of being drafted and will go to council this spring.
Fox says she is glad to hear a bylaw is in the works in Surrey, but hopes the city includes some specific recommendations her organization has.
While Fox's request to speak as a delegate to Surrey council again has been declined, she will be submitting written suggestions.
She wants to reiterate the specific wording that Fur-Bearer defenders would like to see in the bylaw.
"Our wish is that this bylaw would include city and private property. We want to see something inclusive," she said.
Fox said it's also important to her that the word "bodygripping" is in the new bylaw. Bodygripping traps include leghold, Conibear and snare traps.
"There is an opportunity here for Surrey to be the largest municipality in Canada to ban cruel and dangerous traps," Fox said.