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RCMP investigate reports of rabbit killings in Richmond park

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RCMP investigate reports of rabbit killings in Richmond
WATCH: Police are investigating disturbing reports people are using their dogs to purposely kill rabbits that have populated several Vancouver area parks. Our Emad Agahi spoke with a man who caught on video a confrontation he had with one couple who he felt was up to no good. First, though, a warning: some parts of this story are troubling – Nov 10, 2021

WARNING: This story contains disturbing details that may not be suitable for all readers

Reports of people intentionally using their dogs to kill rabbits in a Richmond park have prompted a police investigation.

The investigation followed reports of dead and mutilated rabbits in Minorou Park, and a videotaped confrontation between a local man and a couple he believed were involved.

That altercation happened on Oct. 19, when the man — who Global News has agreed not to identify out of safety concerns — says he saw the couple looking in the bushes with a flashlight and telling their dogs to “go get them.”

Read more: Richmond animal shelter to put down 66 rabbits after officials detect a deadly virus

“They said, ‘It’s the circle of life though, people eat chicken though,’ just listed a bunch of excuses and said they were just pests, no different from rats.”

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The man said he did not actually see the dogs kill any rabbits, but that the couple had come from the direction where he later found one of the creatures dead.

Richmond RCMP confirmed it had responded to the complaint, but said it was not able to substantiate the allegation.

Click to play video: 'Richmond animal shelter to kill 66 rabbits'
Richmond animal shelter to kill 66 rabbits

“Our investigator conducted a thorough investigation and could not find any evidence linking the dogs or the two individuals to the dead rabbits,” Cpl. Adriana O’Malley said.

The growing rabbit population in Minorou park is believed to have originated with abandoned pets in the area.

The Richmond-based Rabbitats Rescue Society says for that reason they’re particularly vulnerable.

“They have a different brain structure than wild rabbits and they don’t have the same fear responses,” Rabbitats Canada founder Sorelle Saidman said.

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Along with Minorou Park, the society says it has received reports of people intentionally killing rabbits at Vancouver’s Jericho Beach.

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