In the Black Hills of South Dakota, a woman and her dog were caught in a poorly placed animal trap. Although the woman was able to free herself and her dog, the experience was frightening and truly a careless and dangerous error on the part of the person placing the trap merely a step away from a popular hiking trail.
“I hate the person who set this trap. First it trapped my dog Tiger who screamed in pain. I’m not experienced with traps so I immediately did what I could to pry the jaws loose from Tiger’s front paw. Then my fingers were caught and I screamed, “God help me! God help me!” At the top of my lungs. I was trapped. My fingers hurt so bad. Then clarity came and I saw how to push the lever down to release myself. This is on a popular trail. Whoever did this littered spent shotgun shells too in several places. I’m not anti hunting. I’m anti stupid. Luckily neither one of us is injured badly. It was a teribble (sic) experience. If you trap, don’t put it on a popular trail. It will be a long time before I forgive you,” wrote Dede Ferrar on her Facebook page.
Dede and her dog, Tiger, had been hiking near Seth Bullock Fire Lookout Tower on Tuesday; the same area she has been for the last 35 years. Suddenly, Dede heard Tiger scream in pain and ran over to him – his front paw was caught in the trap. As she used her fingers to pry open the trap, her fingers also were caught. And for a moment she panicked, but as rational calmness set in, Dede pushed down on the side levers of the trap releasing its grip.
South Dakota Game Fish and Parks told Dede trappers are allowed to set their traps anywhere on public land. The woman was told to return the trap to where she found it. According to a wild life conservation officer, the trap was most likely set by an amateur. One can only imagine what could have happened to Tiger and Dede – thank goodness their injuries were only minor.
Maybe it’s time the South Dakota Game Fish and Parks Commission made some basic rules for trappers? It is surely against public policy to leave any kind of trap within a footstep of a public hiking path. What are they thinking?
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