A FAMILY pet had to have one of its front legs amputated after being caught in what is believed to be an animal trap.

One-year-old Zulu had to a leg amputated at the shoulder after he returned to his St Ives home last week with injuries consistent with having been caught in a spring trap.

His owner, Cathy Triggs, 51, of Swan Close, believes the trap could have been set at nearby allotments. She said Zulu was discovered by her partner, Anthony George, 41, early on Tuesday morning last week.

Cathy said: “It was about 6am. We heard the cat flap and we thought somebody else's cat was trying to get in. Georgie got up and there was Zulu, with his leg hanging off. It was horrific.

“I grabbed a blanket and we put him on the table. We checked him all over but it was just his leg that had been hurt. I thought perhaps a fox had bitten him if he'd been up the allotments.

“He was petrified and tried to hide under the bed. It was traumatic – we had to dismantle the bed to get him out.”

The couple called an emergency vet and took him to the clinic at the Cromwell veterinary surgery in Huntingdon.

Cathy said: “The vet said that it wasn't an animal bite, it was a trap. When an animal bites it tears the skin but Zulu's leg had been clamped.

“I don't know how he got out of it. If someone let him out, how could they just let him go? If I saw an injured animal I would take it to the vet – unless whoever freed him set the trap and doesn't want to be found out.

“I want to appeal to anyone who may have seen anything to come forward. Somewhere at the top of Hill Rise, traps are being set that aren't humane. We need to bring it to people's attention.”

Zulu is now home and adapting to life with just three legs.

Cathy added: “We are all really traumatised, really upset and angry at the same time.

“We can't point the finger at allotment holders but I can't imagine anybody having a trap in their garden. I know people are growing vegetables and don't want rabbits going on their allotments but there are ways and means of doing it in this day and age. If a person is still laying traps, what is going to happen next?”

Cromwell Vets confirmed that Zulu's injuries were consistent with being caught in a spring trap but added they could not be 100 per cent certain that this is what happened.

Gin traps have been illegal in the UK since 1958 but spring traps can still be used to kill rats, rabbits, weasels and stoats.