Well the bad news out of Canmore is the town has been overrun by … rabbits! It seems that some 20 years ago somebody complained about his neighbour’s backyard hutch. Well the neighbor’s response was to set those bunnies free.
By 2011 the town was overrun with 2,000 bunnies. But the town plan to cull the bunnies ran afoul of the local humane society. Apparently, local activists were distraught. There was talk of hiding the bunnies in homes and setting them free again after the Bunny Police were gone.
Along came the Earthanimal Humane Education and Rescue Society (EARS). Their plan was to capture the bunnies and give them new homes. But the effort ran out of steam after a couple of years having “saved” 200 bunnies.
But the rabbits kept keeping on making more rabbits. The Town is serious about dealing with these critters. It is waging a war of attrition that would make Elmer Fudd proud.
And a propaganda war is raging against them too. They are called “feral” and townspeople have been told that coyotes and cougars will come to town for rabbit snacks – and maybe enjoy Fido instead. Rabbits have bitten three children too! Where once (2006) public opinion was mixed about rabbits the tide of public opinion is against them!
Since the trapping and culling program began in 2012, the town has caught 1,300 rabbits at a cost of $380,000. That is an average cost of $300 per bunny – the cost will be hotly debated at budget time! It is judged that a more cost effective option of poisoning them would face a public backlash.
All that to say don’t count the rabbits out just yet!