200 feral rabbits to be spayed/neutered

Feb. 20, 2012 at 4:28 PM

CALGARY, Alberta, Feb. 20 (UPI) -- Nearly 200 wild rabbits that otherwise would have been euthanized were spayed or neutered in Calgary, officials said.

The rabbits, from the mountain town of Canmore, Alberta, were rounded up and brought to the Animal and Bylaw services building in Calgary to be spayed and neutered Sunday and Monday, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported.

The formerly domestic animals started out as pets but were released in the 1990s and began reproducing, leading to an excessive population of the rabbits in the area.

The city of Canmore proposed euthanizing the rabbits last year, but the animal rights group Earthanimal Humane Education and Rescue Society, based in British Columbia, led the effort to save the animals.

"I never thought that these animals deserved to pay the price for irresponsible human behavior," said Susan Vickery, director of the non-profit organization.

Animal and Bylaw services officer Bill Bruce said local veterinarians and technicians volunteered their time and supplies for the massive task were donated.

"We have the lights and heat on anyway, so there is no cost to the Calgary taxpayer," Bruce said.

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