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Draper Journal

Beware illegal animal traps that could injure humans or pets

Mar 07, 2023 04:13PM ● By Mimi Darley Dutton

Powerful leg traps like this one found in a city park can seriously injure animals or humans. Traps were found hidden in natural growth areas at two Draper parks in December, and each had injured a wild animal. Residents are asked to call police if any more traps are discovered. (Courtesy Draper Police Department)

Since the city’s December warning that animal traps were found in two city parks, no more traps have been reported and police have not identified who put them out. Lieutenant Pat Evans said the traps were found in Mehraban Wetlands Park and the Jordan River Park trail by members of the community. “They came to our attention because of animals caught in the traps,” he said.

According to Evans, a feral cat was injured but able to run away from the trap along the Jordan River trail. A raccoon was caught in the trap found at Mehraban, but by the time police responded after a resident reported it, both the trap and the raccoon were gone. Police suspect that whomever set the trap removed it and the raccoon. 

Both were leg traps commonly available at stores such as IFA. Both traps were found off the main trails, hidden in weeded, natural growth areas. “They’re designed to trap animals. They’re spring loaded and very strong, so they could cause injuries to a child or adult,” Evans said.

Police remind the public that hunting and trapping is illegal within city limits. And if you come across an animal caught in a trap, you should not approach the animal or try to help it because animals that are injured can be aggressive. Instead, contact the Police Department/Animal Services any time of day or night at 801-840-4000.

“There are no leads. If we were provided a tip, we’d activate the case and follow up. Our animal services officers frequent the parks and Corner Canyon looking for things like this, so it’s an ongoing practice,” Evans said.