Photos: Rabbit invasion

Monday, May 22, 2017

Innis Arden
Photo by Bill Schnall

Lake Forest Park
Photo by Brad Lichetenstein

First there was a message on a social media site about a woman who found a "giant" rabbit in her front yard. She said the rabbit was not afraid of her at all.

A couple of days later, Bill Schnall found a large rabbit in Innis Arden. Then the next day Brad Lichtenstein found a rabbit in Lake Forest Park.

The rabbits have been in Hamlin Park for a long time. Now they are in Innis Arden in west Shoreline, and Lake Forest Park on the east side.

They breed like, well, rabbits. And they take over and eat everything in their path. Remember Farmer McGregor?

What I don't quite understand is why the coyotes, who are also all over the place, haven't wiped out the bunny population. 

I'm afraid it's because domestic cats are much easier prey. Maybe if we all kept our cats inside, the wild animals would stay in balance.



Anonymous,  May 22, 2017 at 8:46 AM  

The balance ebbs and flows. If the rabbits overwinter well there is an explosion in spring and fall. The predators will have a great summer and a good portion of their babies will survive. Then the predators will overfeed on the prey, the rabbit populations diminishes, and then predators follow suit through lack of available food and their offspring not surviving/less being born. The prey has another good winter and explodes, and so on and so on... The circle of life.

Anonymous,  May 22, 2017 at 3:33 PM  

People may also be noticing more rabbits due to the usual after-Easter dumping of domesticated rabbits. It's unfortunately very common for irresponsible owners to dump/abandon their rabbits in the open, thinking that they can survive like wild rabbits (which is untrue, usually this is a death sentence for most domesticated breeds). For the woman that saw the "giant" rabbit who was not afraid - that doesn't sound at all like any of the wild breeds native to WA. I'm glad that the pictures do seem to be of wild rabbits. Large spikes of dumping happen after Easter, when people realize how much work their new rabbit is, and decide they don't want it.

Amanda Wilhelm May 22, 2017 at 9:40 PM  

I've seen wild bunnies here in Ridgecrest too.

elvisVelo May 22, 2017 at 10:26 PM  

Speaking of the Circle of Life: yes, let the natural systems operate as they will, and perhaps the cat people would stop injecting their cats into the circle, as they do great harm and do not belong there.

Anonymous,  May 23, 2017 at 6:21 AM  

A better question is why don't people take care of pet rabbits responsibly when they don't want them anymore? Better yet, don't get rabbits as Easter presents.

The population of rabbits in Hamlin is low at the moment because a rescue group live trapped a bunch of them late last fall. There are still dozens of rabbits in Fircrest. It will not take long to replace the population removed.

And to be sure, these are feral animals, not wildlife. They are an invasive species.

Other localities have had difficulty removing feral rabbits. Whidbey Island was overrun, Lower Woodland Park had the same problem. Las Vegas has been overrun in some neighborhoods.

Anonymous,  May 24, 2017 at 7:13 AM  

There is a pair of black & white domestic rabbits running around Twin Ponds.

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