Feral rabbit population booming in Calgary parks
Many of the bunnies used to be pets, wildlife expert says
There are a lot of rabbits roaming around many Calgary parks and in peoples' yards this summer.
At Lindsay Park in the city's southwest, the fluffles of bunnies seem to be all over the place.
But while they are temptingly cute, the city is asking people not to feed them because they are considered wildlife.
Andrea Hunt, executive director of the Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Society, says many of the rabbits started off in people's homes.
"Mostly they were animals that were accidently — I hope accidently, but accidently or on purpose — released from people who owned them as pets."
She said once they've been living outdoors, they become feral, which makes it difficult to keep them as pets again.
The rabbits are resilient and most can adapt to survive over the winter, Hunt said.
The city doesn't track the rabbits, so it's unclear how many are roaming the city's green spaces.
"The animals are sort of in no-man's land because they're not really wildlife, so they don't really fall within the work that we do," she said.
But they're also feral, so they're not really, like, they can't really be pets, so they don't really fall very well into work that other organizations are doing either."