The B.C. Ministry of Transportation has a plan for the rabbits living on the patch of grass running along the Helmcken interchange: relocation to the U.S.
I’ve been watching these rabbits on the median from my seat on a double-decker BC Transit for the past couple of years. The expression about multiplying like rabbits is true. The #50 bus from Langford to Victoria stops at the traffic light, and what was perhaps a dozen or so rabbits a couple of years ago, has multiplied to at least 80 by the government’s estimate.
Occasionally you’ll see motorists stopped and feeding these rabbits. I don’t doubt the good intentions of people not wanting to see these rabbits in distress. But you knew it was only a matter of time before the Provincial government would address this situation.
In a press release posted on the Ministry website on Friday February 12th includes these details:
The feral rabbits that have been inhabiting the Helmcken interchange area will soon have a safe home thanks to the efforts of local volunteers, as well as ministry staff.
The volunteer group approached the ministry in the Fall, offering the necessary funds to spay, neuter and relocate the rabbits. Since then, the ministry has been working closely with the group to organize the relocation. A plan is now in place to move the population of approximately 80 rabbits to a private sanctuary in the United States.
In the coming weeks, a professional trapper will begin to capture the rabbits. Once trapped, the rabbits will be spayed/neutered by local veterinarians, and subsequently relocated. For safety reasons and to ensure the success of the trapping efforts, the ministry is reminding drivers not to stop to try to feed, pet or catch the rabbits.
Rabbits at this location need to be removed because they create a distraction for drivers and a potential hazard for all road users, and their burrows undermine the sidewalk and affect our ability to maintain the median.
We want to hear what you think. Is this another UVic bunny problem where rabbits will be relocated and end up someone else’s problem? Should the rabbits be left where they are? Or do you have another idea how to deal with feral rabbits? Share a comment below.