September 4, 2018 8:31 am
Updated: September 4, 2018 4:12 pm

Calgary’s inner-city feral rabbits reproducing like… well, you know.

WATCH: Some Calgary neighbourhoods are dealing with what appears to be a bunny boom. Domestic rabbits released into the wild appear to be thriving in the inner city. But as Sarah Offin reports, it's actually a struggle for the rabbits and for those trying to keep them off the streets.

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There are hundreds, if not thousands, of rabbits who call Lindsay Park home.

It’s an inner city park that has seemingly become overrun with rabbits.

“They’re here every single day when we walk in here,” said dog walker Jesse Sullivan. “There’s babies this year. There [are] tonnes in here.”

These are no jackrabbits. The rabbits you see around many Calgary neighbourhoods like Erlton, Mission or Bridgeland are much smaller and some are extremely tame.

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“There’s always people trying to play with them. They leave lettuce out for them sometimes. It’s fun,” Sullivan said.

Rabbit rescue groups said the domestic animals are often turned loose when owners can’t take care of them. The animals reproduce and the new arrivals are then considered feral.

“A lot of people get rabbits thinking they are cute and cuddly but when they hit hormonal ages they become a lot more work,” said Amanda Greening of Against All Odds Rabbit Rescue.
“A lot of people just I think [to] open the door and let them go.”

It’s a situation that has cost the Town of Canmore hundreds of thousands of dollars. In 2011, the town began trying to trap, sterilize and get rid of the animals which destroy vegetation and attract predators inside town limits.

The City of Calgary doesn’t currently have a policy on how to deal with feral rabbits. The Calgary Humane society suggests leaving rabbits where they are unless they appeared injured.

If people are caught releasing their pets fines can range from $100 to $10,000.

 

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