Squeak, an 18-month old male cat who lives with Mel Cook in the vicinity of Thomson Street and the Centenary Avenue Hill, has his quick reflexes to thank for a narrow escape from a vicious animal trap.
The serrated steel-jawed leghold trap, which snaps jaws shut over an animal's leg when the animal steps on it, just managed to grab hold of the tip of Squeak's paw - his toes if he was a human - on Easter Saturday.
Mel's guess is that if he hadn't pulled his paw away quickly enough, the trap would have closed around his leg causing huge damage.
In particular, she says that as well as being cruel the traps are extremely dangerous.
"It could've been a kid put it's foot in that. It could've done an enormous amount of damage to a child," she said. Amazingly, Squeak pulled the entire trap back to Mel's house and up nine steps and through the cat door to get some human help. Mel called her father, who could open the trap while she freed his paw.
Acting OIC Cootamundra Police Sgt David Dechene said plate traps had been illegal for decades. Inquiries about who set the trap have to date been inconclusive.
Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council can hire humane traps to anyone concerned about feral cats in their neighbourhood.
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