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Illegal foothold trap found off Butte walking path has residents and officials concerned

animal trap walking trail.jpg
Posted at 1:12 PM, Nov 02, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-02 15:12:53-04

BUTTE — A foothold trap used to snare wild animals was found just a few feet off a popular walking trail in the heart of Butte, and animal control officials are warning people who regularly use this path to walk with their dogs or children to be cautious.

“It’s very scary to me because with the leashes that we use our dogs can walk a little ways off the trail and if they stepped in it, it could be so damaging they could lose an extremity,” said Butte resident Cathy White.

On Oct. 28, a trail walker found the trap within 15 feet of the path near Blacktail Creek just off Pinion Avenue. The trap had a dead fox caught in it and Fish, Wildlife and Parks is investigating the matter.

“We just want people to be aware that someone set a trap that’s in an area that’s not appropriate for that type of stuff,” said Butte Animal Control Officer J.D. Santifer.

The illegally set trap is designed to snap shut on the leg of an animal.

“It does break bone, or could potentially break bones, and cause damage,” said Santifer.

The motive for setting the trap is not yet known, but someone in the area could have been trying to catch a fox or coyote.

“People get upset about those kinds of animals; they feel like they’re a nuisance, but they were here first,” said Santifer.

Cathy White, who regularly walks the path, said it's disturbing to have a trap so close to the path.

“What worries me even more is what if a child walked into that trap? That could just be absolutely horrible,” said White.

Investigators found no other traps in the area and people on the walking trail are asked to immediately call the police if they see a trap.