After hiker stumbles across coyote, possible illegal trap under investigation

Local News

ST. GEORGE, Utah (ABC4 News) – A St. George woman’s discovery is raising questions about trapping animals in Utah.

While out for a hike with her dogs, the woman discovered a coyote snared in a trap on a trail near the St. George Airport Monday. 

Photos show the coyote caught in what appears to be a spring trap. Its front paw seems snared.

“Because it was tethered, it was there, and the dogs interfaced with it. Our dogs have never interfaced with one before because they all keep their distance. They don’t like each other,” said Jill Chatelain.

She said the coyote was in terrible shape.

“The animal was in shock, it was dirty, it was laying on its side, um it looked like it was exhausted.”

Utah Division of Wildlife Resources said they got involved and are investigating the situation.

 “To make sure that it is legal and that the trap is in the right place and using the right regulations,” said Phil Tuttle with DWR.

Tuttle said the agency keeps a very watchful eye on animal traps.

 “All trapping devices, used to take a coyote or a raccoon, have to be checked and animals removed at least once every 48 hours,” said Tuttle.

Jill says this whole thing needs to be rethought.

“I think that this particular type of way to capture an animal is barbaric because it puts the animal at risk of being attacked by dogs or other animals,” said Chatelain.

Jill adds she’s not against trapping, and she adds this way poses a risk to people too.

 “I was told they’re not supposed to harm people. I don’t know that. Thank goodness it wasn’t a human I found in the trap,” said Chatelain.

Now as to whether these traps pose a danger to people who might stumble upon them, Tuttle said the traps themselves, they’re very small, and it would be very unlikely to get a human foot caught in one.

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