TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Some Seminole Heights neighbors say they are mortified after what they saw on Tuesday — two racoons trapped in metal cages on a roof, in direct sunlight. One suffered and died.
“Who wants to see a dead animal on the roof of the house? All you got to do is block it off. Who puts cages on the roof to trap an animal?” said Mark Albertson, a neighbor.
Albertson said the raccoons were trapped on the roof of a home off North Dartmouth Avenue for at least 24 hours.
“Animal control and wildlife were both here,” he said. “They knocked on the door, no one was answering.”
Officials with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said Tuesday officers found four cage traps set up by the homeowner. In one cage was a dead raccoon. The other had a live raccoon which was released.
“That’s messed up because we were trying to trap our cats to neuter them and we caught a raccoon,” Albertson said. “And we just let him go because the river is down here – there’s wildlife.”
The homeowner did not want to go on camera, but told 8 On Your Side she placed the traps with intentions of release the animals. She also said it’s accidental that one died.
She’s now claiming neighbors are harassing her and her tenants.
The Humane Society of Tampa Bay said if you’re dealing with a nuisance animal, the first step should be trying to coexist with it.
“If you can’t do that, next we say leave it to the professionals,” Public Relations Manager Christine McLarty said. “Get a humane trapper because they know exactly where to take those animals to give them a better chance. If it comes down to you trapping them and trying to take them somewhere, there’s really no good advice there because the animal will likely die.”
The FWC said it issued written warnings to the homeowner for violating regulations on trapping wild animals and violations of the state’s animal cruelty law.
If you’re interested in learning more about nuisance wildlife trapping, information can be found on the FWC website.
The FWC encourages anyone with information about potential wildlife violations to call the Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-3922. Those contacting Wildlife Alert can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward.