In 2008 a few abandoned rabbits quickly multiplied into a community of nearly 2000 roaming rabbits the streets of Kelowna. Although the rabbits were a welcoming site to anyone traveling by, complaints were filed with the City by some local businesses and orchardists.
In response, several Kelowna councillors suggested the idea of lethal management as a tool to control the growing population of European rabbits within the city and regional district.
This decision was not well received by the public and TRACS launched a Feral Rabbit Relocation Program and obtained a permit from the Ministry of Environment to relocate and sterilize the bunnies. We saved over 800 rabbits from the streets of Kelowna.
Many painstaking hours were spent humanely trapping the rabbits who were then placed into foster care and when deemed healthy enough spayed and neutered. Many of the female rabbits were pregnant at the time of trapping and so many teeny tiny kits were born to us in fostercare. Thru fundraising large secure pens were built where they can live out their natural lives stress free. Accustomed to the “free life”, these endearing, personable animals have lots of room to exercise and socialize with one another, yet benefit from greatly minimized safety risks in terms of predation, being hit by cars, poisoned, beaten to death, or victimized in any way.
These sanctuaries are run solely by volunteers who rely on a number of local veterinarians specializing in exotic animals to keep the bunnies healthy and happy.
Read about the origins of the Feral Rabbit Relocation Program
- New Digs for Bunnies December 1, 2012
- Feral Rabbit Relocation Program: Update April 2008 April 30, 2008
- Kelowna’s New Feral Rabbit Relocation Program March 31, 2008
Below is a list of articles in the media about the feral rabbit population and TRACS’ involvement with relocation:
- 75 rabbits in need of new home July 22, 2013
- Animal care society seeks home for 50 rabbits – Kelowna Capital News July 27, 2012
- Kelowna’s rabbit population multiplies – CTV BC March 22, 2008
- When Easter bunnies aren’t so cute – Globe and Mail March 19, 2008
- Bunny conundrum: to kill or not to kill? – Kelowna Daily Courier March 19, 2008