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City, animal advocates at odds over feeding stations as feral rabbits take over local park

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Is it a bunny eviction or just cleaning house? That’s the question at the Floyd Lamb Park at Tule Springs which is overrun with feral rabbits.

The Las Vegas park is one of several spots throughout the Valley where people dump their pet rabbits. However, over time the animals reproduce. Some estimates put the feral bunny count in the Las Vegas Valley in the thousands.

“Domesticated rabbits do not fare well out in the open. Not in the wild. Not at parks”, said Stacey Taylor of the group Bunnies Matter in Vegas Too. “They didn’t ask for this life so I don’t think they should be left to fend for themselves and die a miserable death".

However, city officials are about to take away the water and food stations set up by volunteers at the Floyd Lamb Park.

“To pick up the feeders is juvenile. It’s childish. It’s not a solution, they’re not going to go away”, said volunteer Trudy Para-Killman.

However, city officials say the animals are posing several problems for the park.

“Tule Springs isn’t a bunny sanctuary. We also have to make sure we preserve the historical park because the bunnies burrow. Where they’re burrowing, say in our historic barn, it’ll create issues”, said Las Vegas City Councilwoman Michele Fiore.

Fiore says the city has no plans to completely remove the rabbits but intends to find an alternative safe space for them nearby.

“We need to trap the bunnies, take them to the animal foundation get them spayed and from there take them to our new designated area,” said Fiore.

However, animal advocates insist there’s more to the bunny-dumping problem.

“Without paying and neutering rabbits, we’re not solving anything. Until people get fined for dumping we’re not going to solve the problem”, said Para-Killman.

Councilwoman Fiore says she is currently drafting a new ordinance that could help fix part of the problem. A neuter and pay requirement for anyone that would purchase a rabbit. She hopes to get that ordinance passed within the next few months.

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