One trap snaps down on their spine, breaking it. The other grabs their legs and holds them underwater.

Lethal traps like these have been placed in an Oshawa pond to kill off a beaver colony in a residential neighbourhood. City officials say the beavers’ dam in Goodman Creek near Adelaide Avenue and Waverly Street has raised the pond’s level, and with it the flood risk to 400 homes.

The traps are legal and humane, according to the Ministry of Natural Resources. But residents are outraged by the killings, which started last November, calling them cruel and unnecessary.

Thirty animal lovers staging a protest at Goodman Park on Saturday were even more horrified to see two metal traps discovered by a Whitby resident on the dam the day before.

“I activated it with my spade and bam! — like a big mousetrap,” Jack Snedden told them. “It scared the heck out of me.”

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