The feral rabbit population in Canmore has exploded. Mayor Ron Casey is now planning a rabbit culling program, which could begin next summer.

The Town of Canmore is planning a culling program to control the feral rabbit population in the Alberta community.

Canmore Mayor Ron Casey has secured support for $50,000 to begin culling the rabbits. Casey said it's a controversial move, but reasons it's a matter of public safety.

"We're starting to see cougars moving closer to town and moving through town," he said.

The culling could begin in the summer.

"We know it's going to take years to address the problem," Casey said. "This isn't something you're going to fix in six months or even a year or two years or five years."

Residents like Sydney Fenna are concerned about the wild rabbits attracting other animals to the area.

"I've seen coyotes as I drive down the front street with rabbits in their mouths, sauntering down the street," Fenna said.

Resident Annalise Acorn said coyotes are becoming increasingly brazen.

"There have been reports of incidents where coyotes have been coming into the yard to get a rabbit in the yard and the kids have been in the yard and there's even been reports of a coyote nipping children," she said.