A European rabbit that was turned loose in a city park. (Photo courtesy of ISCBC)

A European rabbit that was turned loose in a city park. (Photo courtesy of ISCBC)

Don’t let the Easter bunny loose!

Don’t be a hare brain. We all know how rabbits breed.

“If you gifted one, or received one as a pet for Easter, make sure it doesn’t get turned loose,” advises the Invasive Species Council of BC (ISCBC), “From the campus of UVic, to the wilds of Richmond and the beaches of Jericho in Vancouver, feral rabbits that were never meant to be there, have caused big problems.”

The council advises that somehow humans still seem to be learning this costly lesson. Rabbits continue to often be introduced to the wild by pet owners who no longer want them or can no longer care for them. These former pets turned feral pests can have huge ecological and environmental impacts which is why it is important to play your part and don’t let that rabbit loose.

“European rabbits native to Europe and Northern Africa have now been introduced to every continent except Antarctica. They are herbivores and compete with native species for food and habitat. These little creatures are also incredibly industrious. The tunnels they dig can cause serious environmental damage,” says ISCBC in a recent press release.

Did you know rabbits can live up to 10 years in captivity? That’s a big commitment!

Prospective pet owners are encouraged to think very carefully before welcoming a rabbit as the newest family member for up to 10 years. Make sure you are prepared to provide it a loving and caring home.

If you, or someone you know has a pet rabbit and they can no longer provide adequate care, contact an area animal rescue or pet store and ask what options are available, or contact the Invasive Species Council of BC and they can help you hop in the right direction. The number one thing to remember is – don’t let it loose!

The Invasive Species Council of BC (ISCBC) is dedicated to keeping our landscapes and communities free of invasive species. It provides a coordinated, province-wide approach to reducing the impact of invasive species in B.C. ISCBC unites efforts across the province and collaborates with a variety of partners to develop unique solutions for the wide variety of ecosystems across B.C. For more information visit: bcinvasives.ca.



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