The public has been urged to take care in the Redwood Forest after several gin traps were found at the popular attraction.

The traps, which are used to catch possums, were discovered by members of the public near some of the main tracks and were reported to the Rotorua Lakes Council.

Three have been reported and since removed.

"We're very concerned about this," said Rotorua Lakes Council's sports and recreation manager Rob Pitkethley.


"We've searched the area thoroughly and haven't found any more but we can't be sure so as a matter of public safety we urge people to be careful and keep their children close and dogs on short leads."

"Whoever has done this has obviously given no thought to public safety - it's a crazy thing to have done," he said.

Mr Pitkethley said it was not the first time traps had been found in the forest but they were not usually so close to main walking tracks.

The Redwoods are a high use area frequented by tourists and popular with many locals - including families and people walking their dogs.

"At the moment it's extra busy and there are lots of children around," Mr Pitkethley said.

"We would ask that if people do spot any traps, please don't touch them but report them asap - either pop in to the forest information centre or call council on 348-4199 and we will get someone there quickly to remove them."

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The sale and use of traps is restricted under the Animal Welfare Act and Rotorua's local general bylaw prohibits the setting or use of any form of animal trapping or snaring device in a public place or reserve without prior written approval of council.

"Any pest control operations which are undertaken in the wider Whakarewarewa Forest from time to time are always very well planned, managed and controlled and we do not use these types of traps. It seems unlikely the person or people who set the traps we've found this week is an experienced trapper."