Last Updated on July 19, 2023 by Fumipets
The Bunny Boom: Pet Rabbits Run Riot in Florida Suburb
An Unusual Invasion: Pet Rabbits Overwhelm Jenada Isles
A usually peaceful neighborhood in Florida, Jenada Isles, has experienced an unusual ‘invasion’ – fluffy, innocent-looking pet rabbits. The number of these furry creatures has exploded to around 100, turning the 81-home community into a bunny playground. Their unexpected presence is the result of an illegal act by a breeder, who set them free upon moving.
These pet rabbits are of the lion head breed, known for their unique and heavy fur coat, making them ill-equipped to handle Florida’s notorious heat. Yet, they continue to roam the streets, breed prolifically, and charm locals, despite the many perils they face.
The Challenges and Perils of Domesticated Rabbits in the Wild
Being bred for domestic environments, these pet rabbits are ill-suited for life on the loose. Their survival in the wild is fraught with difficulties. Cars, hawks, and even the intense Florida heat pose significant threats to them. Furthermore, government-employed exterminators loom as an existential threat.
The challenges don’t stop there. The lion heads dense fur makes them prone to overheating during the blistering Florida summers. Their domesticated origins mean they lack the inherent fear of predators, and their diet, which consists largely of lawn munching, is inappropriate. Many also suffer from untreated illnesses.
On average, these rabbits would live for seven to nine years in a safe and controlled environment. Yet, the rough, outdoor life they’ve been forced into significantly shortens their lifespan.
Residents Respond to the Bunny Boom
Despite the obvious problems, the rabbit infestation has elicited mixed reactions from the local populace. Alicia Griggs, a resident of Jenada Isles, has taken it upon herself to advocate for their rescue. She says, “They really need to be rescued. So we’ve tried to get the city to do it, but they’re just dragging their feet.”
Other residents, however, are less enthusiastic about their new neighbors. Complaints about the rabbits’ behaviors, such as digging holes, damaging outdoor wiring, and leaving droppings on sidewalks and driveways, have been raised. Some fear that the rabbits might spread into neighboring communities, causing more widespread issues.
What’s Next for the Rabbits of Jenada Isles?
The city commission of Wilton Manors has granted Griggs and other rabbit supporters time to raise the $20,000 to $40,000 required for the capture, treatment, and relocation of the rabbits. This decision comes after an earlier vote in April to exterminate the animals.
Gator Carter, another resident who provides food for the rabbits, says that the rabbits have brought joy to the neighborhood and his grandchildren love feeding them.
Yet, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has decided not to interfere, stating that the rabbits pose no immediate threat to local wildlife.
Despite the complexities and controversies surrounding the rabbit population in Jenada Isles, one thing is certain: the rabbit issue will continue to hop along until a concrete solution is found.
This article has been written based on the original news article found here.