PORTSMOUTH, R.I. — Portsmouth police are urging residents to be on the lookout after a second coyote was spotted with a trap on its leg, this time in Portsmouth.
A coyote with a trap on its leg was seen recently in the Wapping Road area near Sandy Point Avenue.
If spotted, residents should contact Portsmouth police at (401) 683-0300.
Portsmouth police posted the following on their Facebook page Monday.
This is the second coyote with a leg trap spotted recently on Aquidneck Island.
In March, the Department of Environmental Management (DEM) investigated reports of a coyote caught in an illegal leg trap in Middletown, according to WPRI.
Under Rhode Island General Law 20-16-8, it is illegal to “use, set, place, or maintain or tend any steel jawed leghold trap to capture any fur-bearing mammal or other animal.” The entire law reads as follows:
§ 20-16-8 Trapping – Steel jawed leghold traps.
(a) No person shall use, set, place, or maintain or tend any steel jawed leghold trap to capture any fur-bearing mammal or other animal; provided, however, that any person may apply in writing to the director of the department of environmental management for a special permit to use a steel jawed leghold trap to be used on his or her property when there exists on his or her property an animal nuisance which cannot be reasonably abated except by the use of the trap.
(b) If the director determines that this nuisance exists on the property of the applicant which cannot be reasonably abated by means not prohibited by this section, the director may then issue a permit to the applicant for a period not exceeding ninety (90) days to use, set, place, maintain, or tend any steel jawed leghold traps that the director may deem necessary to eliminate the nuisance.
(c) Any person violating this section shall be punished by a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars ($500) or be imprisoned not exceeding one year, or both, and his or her trapping license and privilege to trap shall be revoked for one year from the date of conviction.
On March 21, the first coyote seen in a leg trap was discovered in the area of Third Beach and later euthanized after sustaining numerous “damages” to its leg and malnourishment, according to The Newport Daily News.