People are being warned to avoid using rat traps where possible after a hedgehog was heard 'screaming' after getting trapped in the device.
Residents in Denbigh were alarmed late one evening after hearing what sounded like a distressed animal screaming.
Despite a thorough search, they could not find the animal.
However, the screams could again be heard the following day, and residents found a hedgehog caught in a rat trap among some overgrown grass.The screams were so loud that the RSPCA call handler could hear them in the background when the call for help came in.
The hog's leg had become caught in a clamp-like rat trap, and was "unbelievably swollen".
RSPCA inspector Phil Lewis collected the animal, and rushed him to the charity's Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre on 7 June.
Sadly, despite the best efforts of staff, the hog had to be put to sleep due to the extent of his injuries and to prevent further suffering.Insp Lewis called these traps "indiscriminate and dangerous".
He added: "This sad incident is a reminder that some traps can pose a real hazard to non-target species - and this poor hedgehog's leg was unbelievably swollen after getting caught in this ratchet-like device."Households in Denbigh could hear the poor hog screaming in pain - and our call handler, shockingly, overheard the screams in the background when this was reported to us."It seems likely this poor hedgehog was dragging himself along with his leg caught in the trap."He added: "We believe that humane deterrence and prevention is always better than traps wherever possible."