HOLLISTER (CBS SF) — A fox lost a paw in an illegal animal trap in Hollister, a Monterey County nonprofit reported on Sunday.

The non-profit Wildlife Emergency Services responded to a call last Tuesday that an animal was dragging a trap around on a front leg.

Rescuers glimpsed the animal near the intersection of Union Heights and Riverside Road, but the fox eluded the rescuers. On Sunday morning, someone spotted the fox again in the Union Heights neighborhood.

The fox continued to elude the rescuers, who noticed during their attempt that the trap was gone from the animal’s leg. In some cases, animals gnaw their limbs off to get free of traps, according to Wildlife Emergency Services.

When rescuers found the trap, it was still holding the fox’s paw. Both the trap and paw have been turned over to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, which will be conducting an investigation.

The trap found by rescuers is called a leghold trap, which was banned in California in 1998, wildlife officials said.

The nonprofit is offering a $1,000 reward to anyone providing information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the party or parties responsible for laying the trap.

Anyone with information about the crime is being asked to call the California Department of Fish and Wildlife tip line at (888) 334-2258 or (408) 499-8714. People interested in adding to the reward can send an email to admin@wildlifeservices.org.

© Copyright 2014 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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