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Some Regina residents concerned over rampant rabbits in city’s east end

Click to play video: 'Regina residents concerned with rampant rabbits' Regina residents concerned with rampant rabbits
Marlene Gergely and her husband moved to The Greens in east Regina two years ago, after downsizing and says the rabbits have caused problems ever since – Mar 28, 2018

Jackrabbits are common in Regina year round and are known to grow their families in the spring, but some residents in the city’s east end are mad about the damage they’re doing to their property.

Marlene Gergely and her husband moved to The Greens in east Regina two years ago, after downsizing and says the rabbits have caused problems ever since.

“The first year across the street was really bad, they were all over,” she said. “Then they were coming into the backyards before we had it fenced.”

This year Gergely has counted 41 neighbourhood trees that she says have been chewed by rabbits.

“They’re actually chewing the bark off the trees and they seem to be going more for the flowering crab and stuff like that and then the little wee shrubs,” Gergely said.

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The city of Regina said since 2013 it hasn’t had much of a rabbit problem and although residents in the east end may be seeing an increase, it’s likely due to new developments on the city’s outskirts.

“As a city, we’re expanding and we’re getting more out there and more residents are noticing that,” Ray Morgan, Director of Parks and Open Space said. “We do monitor the populations and we do have trials out there but we are evaluating that data and right at this point, no funds [are] available for a rabbit control program.”

Instead, Morgan tells residents to take preventative measures.

“You can buy protective wraps from local garden centres that help protect your trees, you can also stake your shrubs and surround them with burlap and make sure your fence is secure,” Morgan explained.

Owner of Dutch Growers Home & Garden, Tim Van Duyvendyk said the best time to wrap your trees is fall, but it’s not too late to start now.

“With the tree, if the outer bark is stripped off, unfortunately, that tree is dead, there’s nothing you can do to save the tree,” Van Duyvendyk said. “If they’re noticing little nibble marks on the bark, then you can still wrap the tree.”

Van Duyvendyk also adds the damage may not only be caused by rabbits but voles as well.

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Unfortunately for Gergely, the trees along her street are beyond repair.

“We just understand that they’re going to die and it’s going to be up to us to replace them,” she said.

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