'Thousands' of feral bunny rabbits run rampant in Las Vegas communities
LAS VEGAS (KSNV News3LV) —
Pet bunnies might seem like a good idea but many end up dumped in the wild, becoming feral. The abandoned household pets are now multiplying and taking over communities across the Las Vegas Valley.
Animal advocates estimate there could be thousands of feral bunnies throughout the community. Although it's not clear how the dumping sites started, the problem is only getting worse.
Dave Schweiger has dedicated the past two years to feeding and caring for the animals.
"Bunnies are harder to take care of than dogs or cats ... that's what it comes down to," said Schweiger.
Once abandoned, they do what bunnies do best – they multiply.
"They're domestic bunnies that people have let loose and they breed out in the wild ... and they're not really built for the heat for Las Vegas or the cold," said Schweiger.
Problem areas stretch across the valley from the northwest to Sunset Park.
“Something has to be done because it's a problem in almost every park in the city," said Schweiger.
The gestation period for a litter of bunnies is only 30 days and one litter can have up to 14 babies. As the population grows, so do concerns over health and the animals' well-being.
"We're just helping them to survive ... because they were dumped and they're not meant to survive out in the wild. So we're trying to keep them healthy so they can be rescued," said Schweiger.
There are currently no rescues or shelters in the Las Vegas area that have the funding or the resources dedicated to curbing the bunny problem. While other cities have launched catch and release neuter programs, they can be expensive – in some cases costing up to a million dollars to address a single dump site.