photo credit: vancouverisland.ctvnews.ca

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.

 

3 COMMENTS

  1. It’s time we learn to live together with nature. Watching those bunnies every morning brightens my day and helps keep that dying flame representing a connection to nature in an ever sprawling urban community.

    It’s time to begin the rewilding process on the island. If people in Banff believe they can live side by side with bison, I think we can handle a few bunnies.

  2. I know that they needed to be thinned out, but they could of spayed/neuter and left to live on a piece of total useless land, what sidewalks were they undermining? There are no sidewalks on that side they are on, send them to the USA? Why, because we as Canadians don’t know how to take care of animals? I work off Vanalman and live in Langford and guess what, I have driven that route for a total of 21 years and in the last 10 years or so that the bunnies have been there, I can’t say it ever made me drive off the road? Yes we need to keep the population down, but get rid of them completely…dumb. We are useless here and lazy, move them around too other areas. We use to have the grasses mowed on our highways or side roads, but I think that doesn’t happen anymore or very little of it, so put the bunnies around some of those places. It is always good to spay and neuter, but sometimes that also means we don’t have animals that were common be free. We have done such a good job on cats, that if you want a kitten you need to pay huge dollars for it. I say leave and help the bunnies. Or put something there that will still bring me joy when I drive that miserable traffic called the crawl and it is a crawl and I love those bunnies. They bring me joy….

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