RAMAPO, N.Y. -- Three young foxes are likely without their mother today thanks to a hunter’s trap set in a public park in Ramapo, say wildlife rehabilitators.
Ramapo police last Friday were called to Kathryn Gorman Ponds Park in the Village of Montebello where they found a female fox with one of its front legs crushed in the illegal trap.
Police brought in Dawn Galvin, an officer with the state Department of Environmental Conservation and together they were able to free the injured animal from the dense thicket where the trap had been set.
Local wildlife rehabilitator Marilyn Leybra took the fox, which had passed out from pain and fear, to a veterinarian, who had to amputate its mangled leg.
Leybra said Wednesday that the trap was not a “leg-hold” trap, but a “conibear” trap, which is designed to kill by snapping an animal’s neck.
They have 90 pounds of pressure behind their steel jaws and are said to be especially dangerous to dogs, and other pets.
“The whole thing was horrendous,” Leybra said, adding that she was surprised that the fox hadn’t died outright from shock and blood loss.
Ramapo police said that trapping in a public park is not only illegal, it is dangerous to the children and family pets who visit there.
Donna Kanzler, who lives on Brigadoon Drive right next to the park, said she is almost positive that the animal trapped last week was the mother fox who had birthed three kits in a den in her backyard this spring.
Kanzler said she had often seen the adults hanging out and had been delighted by the sight of the kits “rolling around in the sun and playing.”
Then, suddenly, the whole family vanished, she said.
She tried leaving food near the den in the hopes of luring them back, then, she said, she saw pictures of a trapped fox on the police department’s Facebook page.
“I can’t believe the cruelty,” Kanzler said. “Who would do something like this?”
No one may ever know; there was no tag on the trap, Leybra said.
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