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Crow stuck in rodent trap spurs B.C. woman to speak against glue board use

Ocean Park resident recalls how Crescent Beach walk opened her eyes to traps
An Ocean Park resident is encouraging people to use glue traps wisely, if they must use them at all, after helping a crow caught in one of the sticky traps in Crescent Beach in August. (Joshua J Cotten/Unsplash photo)

After a pleasant walk on a sunny day in Crescent Beach was disrupted by a suffering animal, a local resident wants to raise awareness about the use of glue traps, and how inhumane they can be.

Ocean Park resident Debbie Madsen, whose sister and niece were visiting on a recent sunny August day, were headed for ice cream on Beecher Street after working up an appetite walking along the ocean.

But on their way to the ice cream shop, they saw a crow with some kind of sturdy plastic stuck to its wings.

“My sister noticed it first,” she said.

“People started to gather around… (the crow) was kind of running around in circles – he tried to get over a little curb, but kind of got caught on the curb,” she said, noting another piece of litter had gotten stuck to the glue trap as well, preventing the bird from going anywhere, leaving the poor bird in obvious distress.

“Oh, it was awful.”

A nearby neighbour came out and told her it was a glue trap.

“A glue trap? I’ve never even heard of it,” she said.

“I just had no idea people were even using these. When I started doing research online, I found out some awful things.”

READ ALSO: There goes the neighbourhood: BC SPCA warns about young raccoons moving in

While glue traps, or glue boards, are legal, they can often cause unnecessary pain and suffering, as animals are often left in the trap for a long time until they die, which is a traumatic experience for the animal and the people who may witness it, the BC SPCA says on its website.

“They cause rodents and other animals to suffer tremendously as they do not kill quickly. Birds, small wildlife and even pets can get caught in this sticky situation. Never use glue boards around your home or office,” the site notes.

Madsen agreed.

“I think people need to just to be aware (that) when you’re using a glue trap, to use them responsibly – check them,” she said.

“But first of all, birds shouldn’t be caught on them. They should be inside the house or in a crawl space or where other pets or birds or animals can’t get caught.”

There’s also the fact that if a rodent gets caught in a trap, the person who set the trap must then somehow, humanely dispose of it.

“The neighbour said some people throw them into the garbage can with the rodent still alive,” Madsen said.

She did eventually, manage to free the crow, and even though her sister cautioned her about being bitten, she said the bird let her work to free it without moving – her concern was just freeing the bird so it wouldn’t suffer any more than it already had.

The glue trap was really sticky, and she had a hard time getting it off, but eventually, was successful.

“(The crow) just lay there for about three minutes – I think he was in shock. He was able to fly to a nearby tree,” she said, thankful for a helpful couple that offered her hand sanitizer afterward.

The bottom line, Madsen said, is that “You can’t just put a glue trap out and let (an animal) suffer for days.”

“I wish they were banned, really.”

For more information, the BC SPCA offers several tips about how people can humanely try to control rodents and wildlife.

Tricia Weel

About the Author: Tricia Weel

I’ve worked as a journalist in community newspapers from White Rock to Parksville and Qualicum Beach, to Abbotsford and Surrey.
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