A new rabbit crisis may be brewing near Victoria on British Columbia’s Vancouver Island. Last year hundreds of rabbits were removed from the campus of the University of Victoria after UVIC officials announced they would be “culled.” They were discarded pet rabbits and their offspring, and had been causing problems, devouring landscaping and digging holes that became safety hazards. Volunteer groups worked to capture the bunnies, have them spayed and neutered and relocated them to several sanctuaries in Canada and the U.S.
Now, CTV television is reporting a similar situation in the Saanich Peninsula on the west side of the town of Sidney. The mayor of the municipality, Larry Cross, says that something needs to be done before the problem multiplies from a few rabbits to a full-blown repeat of the UVIC disaster.
The rabbits are former pets that were let loose by owners who presumably do not realize what a horrible life it is for ex-house rabbits dumped into parks where they are ill-equipped to fend for themselves, surrounded by predators and traffic. “They’re dinner. They will probably die a horrible, frightening death,” said Penny Stone of the Victoria SPCA, where there are more than 60 rabbits waiting to be adopted and more unwanted pets arriving on an almost daily basis.
What will happen depends upon a report due to be presented in September, but Mayor Cross said they will not be culling them, although they may have to do some transportation in order to settle the population down.
The video below, courtesy of YouTube, was broadcast earlier this week.