Beaver drowning traps removed from Warner Park after residents complain

Beaver drowning traps removed from Warner Park after residents complain

Residents who live near Warner Park in Madison are strongly opposing Madison Parks’ decision to trap and kill beavers using drowning traps.

Last Wednesday, the city of Madison conducted an investigation of damage to park trees caused by beavers. Officials say they found over a dozen damaged trees. They decided to set up the traps, which are used to kill the animal caught, in the Warner Park Lagoon on the park’s north side.

It was reported some of the traps were removed without authorization and the city decided to remove them all on Saturday.

In a blog post, Parks Division superintendent Eric Knepp said the department uses licensed trappers in determining the type and placement of traps to provide the highest likelihood of a successful trapping operation with the lowest likelihood of unintended consequences such as inadvertently trapping a non-targeted species. He also said the department will continue to monitor the situation at Warner Park during the coming months.

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is following up with city officials on the trapping implementation. Both the city and PETA were not available for comment on the matter Monday.

Even with the traps gone, residents and animal welfare activists still fear for the fate of the beavers.

Madison resident Joanie Bonde said there will be a meeting on Tuesday starting at 6 p.m. at the Warner Park Community Recreation Center. It is being hosted by Wild Warner, a nonprofit advocacy group for wildlife in the park. The group will be discussing the recent beaver trapping, and what can be done to further protect the beavers.