Peel police are issuing a warning to the public after discovering a number of illegal animal traps near a historical building in Mississauga, one of which injured a coyote.

Investigators said that 11 illegal snare traps were found in a green space near the Leslie Log House, located at 4415 Mississauga Road, between March 27 and March 30.

The traps were described by police as “spring snares” made of thin wire, making them difficult to see.

“It obviously presents a danger,” said Peel Regional Police Const. Iryna Yashnyk. “We could be looking at charges for someone setting up traps as they could potentially injure a child or an adult.”

Amateur photographers Carole Ashford and Grace Nelham were in Hewick Meadows, a wooded area behind Leslie Log House, to take some pictures of birds when they noticed a coyote caught in one of the traps. They said they stayed in the area until animal services arrived.

“There was a large pile of rubbish that had been dropped off, so we went over to look at it and then we saw the coyote around it and it was caught in a trap or a snare,” Ashford said.

“The wire was tight on its leg and it was attached to an apple tree on the one end,” Nelham said. “He was in a lot of discomfort.”

Staff at the Toronto Wildlife Centre at Downsview Park is treating the female coyote, whose left foreleg was badly injured when it was caught in the snare.

“It’s very, very deep,” Nathalie Karvonen said. “It’s affecting blood vessels and nerves and ligaments and tendons.”

Karvonen said it is possible the coyote will survive the incident, but her leg may not.

“If her leg doesn’t survive these injuries, can a coyote survive with a missing front leg? That is really questionable.”

As public safety officers continued to comb the wooded area looking for more snares, at least two more were discovered on Monday.

“That isn’t right,” said Nelham. “I don’t know why they are doing it or what they are trying to get.”

Police are asking anyone with information about the traps to contact investigators at 905-456-2121 ext. 1133 or to reach out to Crime Stoppers anonymously.