A growing rabbit population on Vancouver’s Granville Island has been attracting coyotes, according to authorities, and the bunnies are now being trapped and taken to a vet to be euthanized.
The initial plan to was relocated the animals to sanctuaries, but they are all full.
Officials with Rabbitats and Vancouver Rabbit Rescue and Advocacy believe someone abandoned one or two pets in the area last summer or fall, and that the population in Ron Basford Park, located on the southeast corner of Granville Island, soon grew to more than 40 rabbits.
“A lot of people think, ‘Oh, that would be nice for my bunny, it can play with the other rabbits.’ Well, rabbits don’t play together when they don’t know one another,” said Olga Betts of Vancouver Rabbit Rescue.
“The resident rabbits will attack your rabbit, and it would be be very unlikely to survive,” she warned.
They also breed several times a year, and it doesn’t take long for the population to explode.
“I don’t think we should go around killing mammals,” said Vancouver resident Lorna Hawes, who has been tracking their activity in the park.
“One option is to trap them, and spayed them and neuter them, and return them here so they can live out their lives,” she suggested.
Betts agreed, and argued the animal are perfectly healthy.
“I would like to see a space in Granville Island set aside for the rabbits,” she said. “They could be part of the attraction of going to Granville Island.”
Authorities on the Island said that is “not something (they) can take on,” because the increase in coyotes has made it unsafe for people who visit the attraction.