Local couple has stark warning after dog killed by trap

By Chad Klassen
December 21, 2017 - 8:30am

KAMLOOPS — Jennifer Fraser hopes her dog Kuma didn't die in vain. 

The 2-year-old purebred Akita was killed on Nov. 14 after being caught in a conibear trap that was placed 11 metres off Darlington Forest Service Road north of Barriere. 

"This is devastating for our family and devastating to my husband who was there," she said. 

Fraser's husband Burke Nesjan works in the area as a forester. On his way to work that day, 29 kilometres up the forest service road, he let Kuma out for a quick pee break. Kuma didn't come back immediately. 

"The dog didn't come back until my husband noticed him struggling to get back to the truck because he had a conibear trap strangling him," noted Fraser. "Unfortunately, that trap crushed his larynx and took his life in my husband's arms."

Fraser said it's a kill trap located near a safety pull out that has cell service and is used often by locals. Another trap has been set up in the same location and she is warning anyone travelling along Darlington Forest Service Road to use extreme caution. 

"Whether it's my dog or someone's child who's wrestling with their brother and they slide down the hill and stick their hand in this trap," said Fraser. "It's very close to the road."

Fraser told CFJC Today that the Conservation Officer Service deemed the trap to be within the provisions of responsible trapping. However, she has been told otherwise by friends who also have traplines. 

"They don't see this as how you responsibly trap," she said. "There are examples here, specifically near Knouff Lake where responsible trappers have chosen to put up signage, and there's some up right now saying 'Active Trapper in Area. Please Keep Your Dog on Leash.'"

Fraser has yet to identify the trapper, but she hopes to get a hold of him or her soon to talk about the incident and ensure signage is put up to warn people of such a trap. She says she just doesn't want a similar tragedy to take someone else's furry friend.

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