Dozens of domestic rabbits on the loose
September 26, 2019 11:40 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.– Seeing a jackrabbit around the metro area is not too surprising for most, however seeing lots of domestic cotton tails hopping around the neighborhood is a different story.
Cindy Marie is a radio host at Cindy 101.3 and lives in the Parkland Hills neighborhood.
Her cameras caught two rabbits exploring her front yard, so she hopped to it and set out some food.
“I just kind of kept that up for about a week or so maybe two weeks,” explained Marie. “I started to think maybe I should try to find some way to rescue them.”
Marie reached out to the New Mexico House Rabbit Society. They set traps, caught the rabbits, and now they're at one of the Albuquerque animal shelters with a bunch of other roaming rabbits.
“Typically around this time of year we see a lot of loose domestic rabbits,” said Kirsten Tyler, president of New Mexico House Rabbit Society. “So people who probably bought their rabbit around Easter time, and then at this point is when they start to see the side effects of not spaying and neutering so they set the rabbit free outside.”
You might think letting a rabbit out into the wild sets it free but often they will end up as prey for other animals.
“Domestic rabbits, they have different chromosomes, so another misconception is people think ‘I'll set my bunny free. They'll go live with wild bunnies,’ but the wild bunnies do not accept domestic rabbits,” Tyler said.
Tyler said that if unneutered or unspayed, rabbits can multiply quickly.
“Rabbits produce very quickly and in just a few weeks or month they'll have over 50 bunnies,” she said.
If people decide to get pet rabbits, the commitment for care is at least a decade.
“They can't just be tossed out in the neighborhood and expect them to be okay cause they will not be okay,” said Marie.
The two rabbits Marie found ended up bonding and are up for adoption at the Albuquerque Animal Shelter on Lomas.
International Rabbit Day is coming up Sept. 28.
Updated: September 26, 2019 11:40 PM
Created: September 24, 2019 11:01 PM
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