Many animals end up in traps in the Western Cape

Henry

The use of snares to catch wild animals is becoming more and more common across the Western Cape, the Western Cape government said in a statement on Sunday.

According to Eddie Andrews, the city’s mayoral committee member for spatial planning and environmental affairs, patrol officers from the Cape Leopard Trust removed a total of 671 snares during 209 patrols over 112 properties in a year’s time. It forms part of a snare monitoring project in the Boland region of the Western Cape.

“Anecdotal reports of traps and animals caught in traps in the City of Cape Town also appear to be alarmingly high,” he says.

RNews previously reported that snares are an age-old poaching technique that is mostly set up to catch small game such as roe deer and warthogs for their meat. However, traps are not “picky” when it comes to their victims, but simply catch animals in front of the foot. This means that predators such as red cats, leopards and hyenas often become entangled, and that endangered species such as wild dogs are also often caught and die in this way.

Andrews says snares are mostly set in the Western Cape to catch game species such as small antelopes and porcupines.

“This illegal hunting technique is indiscriminate and cruel. Animals are usually caught in a trap for an indefinite number of hours and they usually suffer massive tissue damage. Nor can they be released without treatment.

“The pain and suffering that the animal has to endure is unimaginable. We appeal to residents not to use traps and to report it if a trap is found.”

Animals caught in a snare usually die of dehydration, starvation and infected injuries where the snare cuts into the flesh.

“It is a slow and painful death. Snares have a significantly negative impact on the biodiversity and ecosystem. Snares remove prey from leopards, red cats and other predators, and this can increase the likelihood that predators will hunt domesticated animals such as dogs and cats. Predators are also often caught in traps themselves.”

Alex Lansdowne, Chair of the Mayor’s Advisory Committee on Water Quality, says it is extremely important to ensure that conservation staff are more aware of the presence of traps, are better equipped to identify traps, and know how to prevent and respond to the use of traps. respond.

“When we started the patrol today, we saw two traps made of wire and placed in front of an electric fence.

“We encourage residents to please alert security or the City of Cape Town if they come across a trap. I appeal to visitors while they are enjoying our nature reserves to also be on the lookout for traps,” he says.

Members of the public who come across a live animal in a snare in the Western Cape can call the Snare Free hotline on 076 127 8485. It is advisable to keep your distance from the animal, and give the following information to the hotline operator:

  • where is the animal (GPS coordinate.)
  • Which animal species was caught (if known) and more information about the situation, injuries.
  • Who you are and how you can be reached.