Lionhead Rabbits Invasion In Florida

Freedom Destinations


We all love rabbits but isn’t it a bit overwhelming when the entire neighborhood is filled with these cute furry creatures? And surely, this is nothing to do with movies based on animated animals.

Dozens of wild redhead rabbits were seen roaming around the Florida neighborhood and creating havoc while driving some residents mad with their antics. Too many incidents took place like scenes from a famous movie where rabbits are cutting wires, digging yards, eating through the vegetation in the backyard, leave droppings on sidewalks and driveways or simply putting the lives of drivers and bicyclists in danger by running crazy on the roads.

According to a Wednesday statement from Wilton Manors, about 60 to 100 rabbits were found hopping around the Jenada Isles neighborhood of Wilton Manors — a city a few miles north of Fort Lauderdale. These suburbs were already known for their non-native animals from Burmese pythons, lionfish, giant African snails to iguanas and now the place is dominated by wild rabbits.

Apparently, its seems like a previous resident who was a breeder released their pet rabbits, which naturally, led to rabbits reproducing and creating the current population. These abandoned rabbits were released almost 2 years back when the backyard breeder left town. And from then, the number of these lionhead rabbits have simply multiplied.

Folks at Jenada Isles, especially one of the resident Alicia Griggs, are spearheading efforts to raise funds in order to carry out the rescue of these loose rabbits. Followed by rescue, the plan is to make sure they are rehabilitated after getting neutered and vaccinated. No matter how much a mess these rabbits have created, they deserve a good home and a good life. Moreover, as long as they are out in the open, there safety is at risk. They are prone to be attacked by predator animals like wild cats, hawks, etc. or moving cards and the oppressive Florida heat, and possibly by the exterminators hired to get them off the streets.

“People don’t realize they’re exotic pets and they’re complicated. They have a complicated digestive system and they have to eat a special diet,” said Griggs, a resident and real estate agent. “You can’t just throw any table scraps at them.”

In April, after some residents showed interest in exterminating the loose rabbits, a trapping company was taken into consideration after they quoted an $8,000 estimate for capturing and getting rid of these rabbits. Unfortunately, even the city commissioners fear that rabbits could further multiple and spread into neighboring communities and cities causing the same level of havoc or more.

In another statement, according to NBC News, Wilton Manors Police Chief Gary Blocker reiterated the city’s commitment to treating the cuddly cottontails with gentle hands. “The safety of this rabbit population is of utmost importance to the City, and any decision to involve ourselves will be certain to see these rabbits placed into the hands of people with a passion to provide the necessary care and love for these rabbits,” he said.

The problem continues to be under discussion. All we hope is that the loose rabbits get relocated and under the care of folks who can look after them. To curb the growth in numbers, getting the rabbits neutered and spayed is the best option after rescuing them. Though the number is a problem right now, but tomorrow it would be a blessing when many families can receive a new member in their household.


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