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12 Year Old Boy Caught and Injured in Conibear

Wildlife Resources Officers are trying to figure out who is responsible for setting a trap that caught and injured a 12-year-old boy in Whitsett.

Benjamin F Powell
WFMY News 2
WHITSETT, NC — Parents always worry about their kids outside.

They have to watch out for cars, germs, and even snakes and bugs. But you wouldn’t think about an animal trap, until now.

Wildlife Resources Officers are trying to figure out who is responsible for setting a trap that caught and injured a 12-year-old boy in Whitsett.

It took several hours for six doctors to release Sebastian Schorr from the trap.

Sebastian said he was doing chores near a pond in his neighborhood when he reached down for a metal object and his hand was smashed by the trap.

“I put my hand and triggered and it went ‘ting,'” said Sebastian. “It like bothered me a lot and it hurt.”

Officials say that trap was legally not supposed to be there at this time.

“He was crying and we could not get it off,” said Schorr. “It took six people at the ER to get that thing off his hand. We had no idea these things were here.”

Schorr says he found several similar traps at the pond in their neighborhood.

“It’s not something you would expect when you tell your kids not to touch stuff,” said Schorr. “I worry about germs, not animal traps.”

Officer Darryl Southern with the Wildlife Resources Commission say the trap that caught Sebastian is called a canibear trap, which are legal — even in residential neighborhoods like this one.

They are typically set in or near water and are used to catch muskrats, beavers, otters, or other small animals.

However, there are regulations for usage, according to Southern.

In North Carolina, canibear traps can only be set in winter — between November and February.

The only way that traps can be set during other parts of the year is for active depredation. For instance, if a beaver or muskrat was causing damage to property.

Depredation permits are issued by the NC Wildlife Resources Commission.

Each trap also needs to have the name and address of its owner.

The trap that caught Sebastian’s hand was not marked.

“It is hard to see when a young man like this is hurt over a trapping incident. Hopefully we can find out who the owner is. We will be investigating thoroughly to see the owner and see if there are any legal reasons why the trap was there,” said Southern. “If the trap was set illegally, we will be looking into charges at this time to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”

Schorr hopes this unfortunate incident will be a learning tool for other parents.

“I just want everybody to know that in the area that we are in, I have seen them now on multiple ponds. It’s very likely they’re in more,” said Schorr. “This would never have occurred to me and so I am assuming it probably didn’t occur to other parents.”

Sebastian is handling the injury pretty well. He has some tissue damage in his hand but no broken bones. He’s wearing a cast for a few weeks and his parents say they will set up an appointment with an orthopedic doctor this week.

Wildlife Resource Commission Officers will begin their investigation into the case starting Monday.

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