(Submitted by Trev Miller)

(Submitted by Trev Miller)

Deer suffered in fatal Cranbrook cull trap, welfare group says

Cranbrook Friends of Animals claims buck suffocated after “collapsing improperly assembled trap on himself”

WARNING: Graphic content.

An animal protection group is alleging a buck suffered an inhumane death when caught in a clover trap as part of the City of Cranbrook’s deer cull.

Trev Miller, of the Cranbrook Friends of Animals Society, says a buck entered one of the city’s clover traps Dec. 11, appeared to become terrified when the gate slammed shut and was unable to exit.

“He was clamouring loudly as he struggled in panic to free himself before the trap collapsed and he died a slow, tragic death.”

Miller said a resident sent the picture of the deer in the trap.

“From the description it sounds like the buck was clamouring and making a lot of noise for almost two hours before collapsing the improperly assembled trap onto himself, which resulted in his suffocation,” Miller told the Townsman.

READ MORE: Council reluctantly approves deer cull

In a statement, Miller added; “This wild animal died … in the most inhumane circumstances imaginable.”

“We live in a corridor that’s been home to thousands of deer for millions of years, and this wide-reaching annual slaughter of wildlife because of 38 reports – possibly from a single small group of people – has caused the needlessly tragic death of a nonhuman resident of the area. Whether this is due to the incompetent kill contractor or a lackadaisical approach by our elected officials and city staff, is unclear.”

Chris Zettel, the City of Cranbrook’s Corporate Communications Officer, said in a statement that the City’s contractor arrived at the trap location and found the deer deceased in the trap, “which is a first since the City started population management programs in 2010.

“Upon removal of the animal, the contractor discovered that the trap had one of its mesh panels slashed, suggesting that the trap was vandalized perhaps when someone was attempting to release the deer.”

Zettel said the City has had three incidents of clover traps, which are owned and maintained by the Province, and all located on private property vandalized over the last five days. All incidents have been reported to the RCMP who are investigating.

Meanwhile, local MLA Tom Shyptika is calling for a moratorium on white-tailed doe hunting in the region. The City of Cranbrook’s wildlife permit allows for a cull of up to 60 mule deer and 10 white-tailed deer.

READ MORE: MLA calls for white-tail doe moratorium

In light of this, Miller is calling for an end to the cull.

“Municipalities across the province are looking into actual solutions for managing human/wildlife interactions,” Miller said, “rather than hungrily seeking taxpayer cash to spend on never-ending band-aids.

“The FLNRO Minister allows the killing of both mule and white-tailed deer in Cranbrook, knowing there are real concerns about both populations,” said Miller.

Cranbrook City Council approved the latest deer cull in October. Council lamented at the time that a cull is the only tool allowed by the province to deal with Cranbrook’s burgeoning urban deer herd.

The city has conducted seven culls in years past, removing as many as up to 50 deer, or only three earlier this year in March, due to the late issuance of a wildlife permit. Other cull programs have been interrupted due to clover trap vandalism.

According to a staff report, the city has received 38 complaints of aggressive deer so far this year, an increase from 23 complains in 2018. One of those complaints is a confirmed case of a dog getting killed, while another incident resulted in injuries to a dog and its owner.

Based on the latest statistics collected in December last year, there are 98 urban deer in Cranbrook, 67 of which are mule deer.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Tim Schewe
Drivesmart column: It’s the highway’s fault!

One component of Vision Zero (our current road safety strategy) is highway design.

Moira Mercer spent her summer riding her e-bike around Cowichan Lake and beyond, collecting any empties she found along the way. (Submitted)
Lake Cowichan 2020 in review — conclusion

What were your top stories from 2020?

Staff meetings can be difficult when everyone has his own agenda. (Mary Lowther photo)
Mary Lowther column: Garden additions at request of staff

I’ll sow the catnip in flats on the seed table inside

Sarah Simpson
Sarah Simpson column: Snowballs fights and dead spiders

Even if it doesn’t end up how we hope, it’s the trying that matters most.

Justin Kripps of Summerland and his team have competed in Olympic action and World Cup competitions in bobsleigh. (Jason Ransom-Canadian Olympic Comittee).
QUIZ: Are you ready for some winter sports?

It’s cold outside, but there are plenty of recreation opportunities in the winter months

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

Everett Bumstead (centre) and his crew share a picture from a tree planting location in Sayward on Vancouver Island from when they were filming for ‘One Million Trees’ last year. Photo courtesy, Everett Bumstead.
The tree planting life on Vancouver Island features in new documentary

Everett Bumstead brings forth the technicalities, psychology and politics of the tree planting industry in his movie

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Standardized foundation skills assessment tests in B.C. schools will be going ahead later than usual, from Feb. 16 to March 12 for students in Grades 4 and 7. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. teachers say COVID-affected school year perfect time to end standardized tests

Foundational skills testing of Grade 4 and 7 students planned for February ad March

Most Read