Washington Town Being Overrun By Rabbits?
Yes, we all love rabbits, but who knew what trouble they could get into when there's enough of them in one place?
This is the plight of Langley, Washington, a town on the coast of Whidbey Island that has recently come across quite the overpopulation problem. The problem has especially hit the local school budget pretty hard, as rabbits burrowed so many holes into a middle school football field that it has been rendered unusable.
According to Brian Miller, facilities director of the South Whidbey School District:
"There is feces everywhere, and there are some illnesses that can be carried and transmitted. Every day there are new holes, and the ones we've filled in are dug out, again." Langley has always been known to have a particularly high population of wild rabbits. In fact, it is perhaps one of their largest tourism drawing points.
However, it has recently gotten to a point where the overpopulation is causing tremendous damage. Residents have complained of the rabbits digging up their gardens, pooping virtually everywhere there's grass, and creating nests all over their properties.
One resident even said he had over one hundred wild rabbits born on his property in the span of a year. (A self-service rabbit maternity ward, Langley. You has it.) Mayor Fred McCarthy has heard his residents, and while he doesn't believe in eradicating the population entirely, he does think lessening the amount is an obviously good plan.
"I don't think we're going to get into the business of trapping and euthanizing rabbits. I don't think that would go over well in Langley. I'm not into killing animals for no reason."
Some solutions the city has considered is hiring a falconer to help increase the amount of the rabbit's natural predators in the community. They are also considering relocating some. The school district is also working to raise $60,000 for a protective fence.
So now I want to know: How would you fix Langley's overpopulation problem? Should residents be able to shoot or trap rabbits on their property, or do you like the idea of using hawks to create a balance?