Opening a leghold trap as demonstrated by marilyn leybra, wildlife rehabilitator extraordinaire.
All photos by Peter Muller
Leghold Trap, in "triggered" position
Step first on one tab, then the other as well.
Once both tabs are fully depressed, the jaws can be opened. Don't let it slip!
Jaws opened for release.
Sometimes if the victim is in a lot of pain, and it is clear that you will not be able to effect a release, put the victim with the trap still on into a container. Go to a vet who can sedate the animal, remove the trap, and treat the injury. Rehabilitators are the best people to call for this. They usually list themselves with the local police or veterinarians.
Caution: In some states, disturbing or removing a trap may expose you to legal actions by the state and trap owner.