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Easter Bunny Living On College Campus

Easter Bunny Living On College Campus

If you can’t find the Easter Bunny this year, you are apt to locate him on the Liberal Arts campus at Long Beach City College in sunny California.  The school has become a breeding ground for abandoned rabbits and Easter bunnies from previous years.


Long Beach City College has more than 300 rabbits romping around its campus.  School officials say it all started with a few jackrabbits that migrated after their home was disturbed by a new airport.  That paved the way for pet owners to drop off their unwanted rabbits and before long the campus was teeming with bunnies and their offspring.


Now the rabbits are literally taking over the college grounds and creating a dangerous situation.  “The rabbits dig holes throughout the campus, which create trip-and-fall hazards for students and staff and destroy thousands of dollars of landscaping,” said Mark Thissell, LBCC’s Facilities Director.


And according to a member of the school’s Rabbit Population Management Task Force, the bunnies are more than an annoyance.  It is actually becoming a risky place for the rabbits to live.  There isn’t enough land and the territorial bunnies are starting to have bloody “turf wars” with each other.  


So LBCC has started a humane trap-neuter-release program to capture the rabbits and reclaim control over their school again.  Jacque Olson, a LBCC employee who has been feeding and caring for the rabbits for more than a decade is leading the effort. 


Olson and her friend Donna Prindle have rounded up 100 rabbits in the past week.  The animals were taken to Western University of Health Sciences where a veterinarian spayed and neutered them and they were examined and treated for signs of disease.  The first group was infested with fleas and mites.


The fixed rabbits received a small tattoo on their ear to let people know they have been sterilized.  The rabbits that are wild will be released back onto the campus, but volunteer rescue groups like The Bunny Bunch will keep the animals that can be adopted into new homes.  


The program is being launched at Easter because the concept of the Easter Bunny has contributed to the problem.  Each year after the holiday, the campus sees an influx of new rabbits and territorial wars.


“It’s actually a dangerous place,” Olson said to the Long Beach Press-Telegram.  “They (new rabbits) can be attacked by predators, or attacked by other rabbits.  They have colonies and are very territorial.”


The new homeless rabbits are easy to recognize.  “They’re usually off by themselves or hiding in a corner.  They’ll hop up on your lap and look at you like, ‘Please take me home,’” said Olson.


Signs have been posted all over the campus that LBCC police will be issuing a $500 fine for anyone caught abandoning an animal. 


Dr. Diane McClue, an associate professor of veterinary medicine at Western University of Health Sciences thinks many of the rabbits will be easily placed in new homes.  “These rabbits are not wild rabbits – they are pet rabbits who have been abandoned.  These bunnies are so happy and relaxed to be in a sheltered environment with adequate food and water.  They deserve to have a forever home.”


The first 100 rabbits are recuperating, but should soon be available for adoption. For more information contact Jacque Olson at LBCC.


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2:08AM PDT on May 3, 2010

Noted and sign !

1:08AM PDT on Apr 25, 2010

I am so glad that they are doing such good work, I just hope that people do not see this as a 'safe' way to dump their rabbits, because it will end up too much and they will be back where they started.

Please read and share, rescued horses will die without your support.

12:53PM PDT on Apr 18, 2010

It is terrible to abanden animals, Easter bunnies are ordinary rabbits, and deserve proper care all the time.

7:39AM PDT on Apr 13, 2010

we need to teach responsibility in schools and whatever - and ecology!
You shouldn´t get an animal if there is a risk you will grow tired of it.... Then work in a shelter or something so that you can quit when you want.
I say as in scooby -doo; friends don´t quit = you don´t abandon your animal....

1:31AM PDT on Apr 13, 2010

cute lil rabbit... find your home... God bless!

6:21PM PDT on Apr 11, 2010

It's certainly a good thing they're doing to neuter them and look after them - although I doubt that the holes they dig are a real problem, why don't people just stick to paths? Anyway, good to hear.

3:40PM PDT on Apr 11, 2010

thanks! for anyone who's interested here are some other great sites to click for good causes

11:20PM PDT on Apr 10, 2010

Glad someone is workin on reasonable solutions.

11:39PM PDT on Apr 8, 2010

LBCC should be an excellent exemplary models to all other universities across the country and around the world for their magnificent and marvelous action in handling stray or homeless animal community.

7:00PM PDT on Apr 8, 2010

I am glad the bunnies human friends are being proactive and rescuing the tame abandoned bunnies. They must have a fairly low feline feral community for that many rabbits to thrive. what a balance life is.

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