ORLANDO, Fla. – Orlando Rabbit Care and Adoptions says it showed up to rescue rabbits from Azalea Park after dozens of them took over the community. They say volunteers worked to relocate the animals after they became a nuisance, and if parents aren’t careful, the problem will only get worse.
Denika Robbins, with Orlando Rabbit Care and Adoptions, recently sat down to talk more about it on Florida’s Fourth Estate with hosts Ginger Gadsden and Matt Austin.
She said the influx in domesticated rabbits roaming around Azalea Park could be due to people abandoning their pets.
“Sometimes it is from residents who possibly bought a rabbit for their child for Easter and then discovered that they’re not the great pet that they thought they were. They don’t have time for it,” Robbins said.
While some people think they are wild animals and they can be set free, Robbins said “domesticated rabbits aren’t equipped to survive in the wild for very long.”
She goes on to say it’s because rabbits were bred in Europe and are not able to deal with the weather in Florida. She also said they don’t know they should avoid munching on grass that is likely treated with pesticides.
“They do not generally make good pets for children,” said Robbins, addressing those still thinking about buying a rabbit for the upcoming Easter holiday.
Robbins said not only do rabbits not like being picked up, but “Their bone structure is a lot more delicate than something like a dog or a cat. They have to be handled a certain way.”
If you let them out into the wild, they can multiply quickly.
As the age old saying goes, Robbins says, “Rabbits breed like rabbits.” She added they can start breeding as young as three months old and carry half a dozen rabbits at one time.
So, letting one or two domesticated rabbits loose in the wild could quickly turn into a situation like the people in Azalea Park are dealing with.
To make matters worse, Robbins says cities and counties do not have the resources available to round up loose rabbits and give them the care they need.
To learn more about domesticated rabbits and why you may want to skip buying one for Easter this year—or ever—download Florida’s Fourth Estate wherever you listen to podcasts.
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