An island off the coast of British Columbia could become a refuge for hundreds of rabbits that have been living in the Richmond Auto Mall. The seven-acre island is owned by Craig Widsten, who has approached Rabbitats, the non-profit rabbit rescue group headed by Sorelle Saidman. Here are details as reported in the Richmond Review by Martin van den Hemel.
Saidman said even if the appropriate bodies approve, there are still many details that would need to be investigated and problems addressed, before potentially moving the rabbits to the island.
“He can easily fit 100 to 200 rabbits on their own,” Saidman said.
The heavily-wooded island must be suitable for sustaining the rabbit population.
Saidman said she wouldn’t want the rabbits to simply become food for the eagle population, and noted that there’s no natural source of water on the island. She’s also concerned about whether there’s a sufficient food source for the rabbits.
Reached Thursday afternoon, Widsten emphasized that his offer is really at just the discussion level.
“I read the article a few months ago about the…rabbit problem at the auto mall. I’ve owned the island for I guess 20 years and it’s a treed island. I’m doing nothing with it at the moment,” he said.
Covered with old-growth timber that could provide significant shelter for the rabbits, and few predators, Widsten said he “thought it might be an option.”
He even sees the potential of the island becoming a tourist draw—like Okunoshima, Japan which has been dubbed Rabbit Island and is a major tourist attraction—though that wasn’t what prompted him to step forward.
Saidman said if Shearwater Island were to become a rabbit refuge, it would need to be upgraded to include interactive spaces where tourists and the rabbits could socialize.
To read the full article, please visit http://www.richmondreview.com/news/211478351.html
Without water and with a natural source of food, Shearwater Island may not be the best place for the Richmond rabbits to be located, but it is the best solution to the problem we have heard about to date. We suppose that if sufficient supplies of fresh water and food could be brought to the island on a regular basis, the plan could be workable. Perhaps if the proposed “Rabbit Island” were to become a popular enough attraction, admission fees could help offset the expenses of caring for the rescued bunnies.
Photo: Gerry Karhmann, PNG