Rabbit population out of control near school

July 29, 2009 11:52:53 PM PDT
Rabbits, some decapitated, some decaying, some mauled and mangled, are turning up near one San Jose elementary school. It is all because of a growing bunny population on district property, but controlling the population is not that easy.

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Rabbits of all ages live in Moreland Woods. The acre and a half belongs to the Moreland Elementary School District in San Jose and it is home to dozens of rabbits.

"This is their home and they live in the sheds," nearby resident Elvia Pineda said.

Animal advocates say the problem is that these are domestic rabbits that have been dumped in the area and they have bred, out of control, right under the district's nose.

According to those who live in the area, the rabbits have been in these woods for over a decade and their numbers have been growing. But the district says they only heard about the rabbit problem two years ago.

The district is getting advice from the Department of Fish and Game and animal control, but rabbit rescuers want permission to start trapping. They say the rabbits are in danger.

"Dogs are coming in, people are allowing them to chase and kill the rabbits and also there have been people who have come in with pellet guns and shot the rabbits and killed them," Save A Bunny spokesperson Marcy Schaff said.

Some residents say they have even found dismembered baby bunnies in their front yards.

But the district says no one can start trapping without being properly insured.

"It's an unfortunate thing but they're going to have to wait until we get a solid legal agreement," district spokesperson Jim McFarlane said.

Until then, the rescuers will stay close and keep trapping, while staying off district property.

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