Police are investigating an illegal snare in Milton that caught and killed a pregnant female coyote Monday, officials said.
The coyote, which appeared to be 2 to 4 years old, was trapped near Churchill Street in an area where police found numerous other illegal snares, Massachusetts Environmental Police said in a Facebook post.
“These traps appear to have been bought online due to the professional quality,” Patrick Moran, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Environmental Police, said in an e-mail. “They don’t appear to be homemade.”
The traps are basically carabiners attached to the loop of a steel cable, he said. When an animal walks through the loop, it cinches up, snaring the animal.
“In Massachusetts, there is a hunting season for coyotes which ended March 8,” Moran said. “There is also a trapping season that runs November 1 to November 30. This is the time of year when coyotes mate and the females are carrying pups which is why the hunting season closed March 8.”
The Plymouth County Sheriff’s Department is in the process of checking the traps for fingerprints, and the coyote is being examined by the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University.
Officials are asking anyone with information about who’s responsible for the traps to contact the Massachusetts Environmental Police at 1-800-632-8075.