Humaneness is an important issue associated with using foothold traps. Gray wolves (Canis lupus) captured with foothold traps frequently incur injuries to their feet, legs, and teeth during struggles to escape. Using tranquilizer trap devices (TTDs) on foothold traps reduces such injuries to coyotes (C. latrans). We collected data from 112 wolves (91 adults and 21 pups) killed in depredation control efforts in Minnesota during 1996 to determine whether TTDs would improve humaneness by reducing severity of injuries incurred by wolves. We also assessed the effects TTDs might have on other species caught during wolf-capture efforts by examining 114 animals from 9 other species. Radiographs and necropsies of foot and leg injuries of 37 adult wolves captured in traps equipped with TTDs containing propiopromazine hydrochloride revealed a significant reduction in severity of injuries compared to those among 48 wolves caught in traps without propiopromazine. None of 42 nontarget individuals captured in traps equipped with TTDs containing propiopromazine hydrochloride died from drug overdoses and injuries to these animals were less severe than among animals caught in traps without TTDs containing tranquilizer.
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