Keller @ Large: Boston’s Bunny Boom

BOSTON (CBS) — The experts can’t prove it, but sometimes anecdotal evidence and what you see with your own eyes is enough–we are living through a boom in the rabbit population here in Greater Boston.

Does this look familiar? It seems like they’re everywhere, not just in the leafy suburbs either. The Globe reports they’ve been spotted in South Boston, in Somerville, in front of the State House. For whatever reason, they appear to be more brazen than in the past, less alarmed by the proximity of humans or other animals.

bunny2 Keller @ Large: Bostons Bunny Boom

(WBZ-TV)

Don’t get me wrong, I am a hopeless animal lover. I like rabbits as well as the next guy, and I really don’t mind that they nibble on my perennials. However, if they go after the tomatoes come August, I may have to re-think my benevolent policies.

As I said, the invasion seems to involve a more fearless breed of rabbit, and they certainly have nothing to fear from my friend Buddy the Lab, who seems only interested in chasing the rabbits who’ve taken up residence in my yard if I throw a ball in their direction.

buddy2 Keller @ Large: Bostons Bunny Boom

Buddy the Lab. (Photo courtesy: Jon Keller)

So the question remains: Why are we experiencing this explosion of the rabbit population? There are many possible answers.

Rabbit habitats are usually meadows and forests, but maybe our ever-growing encroachment on the countryside has led them to adapt to urban and suburban living. Maybe they’ve developed a taste for sushi and other trendy food scraps. Rabbits have a reputation for being skittish, but maybe they figure it’s our turn to start worrying.

Or maybe the Great Boston Rabbit Population Explosion of 2017 isn’t due to something we’re doing, but something they’re doing?

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.

More from Jon Keller
Comments

One Comment

  1. It’s usually the latter, Jon…

    And with the milder winters that we have had for the past two years, more of the youngsters have survived to grow to adulthood with the lushness of the foliage providing fewer opportunities to the predators who feed on them.

  2. Jon and staff, several have brought to my attention that some of your footage contains images of domestic rabbits vs wild rabbits. There is concern that some might get the idea that it would be “okay” to put their domestic rabbits outdoors should they no longer wish to care for them. This would likely lead to suffering and death for the domesticated bunnies who have come to rely upon human care and have a very fragile GI system, who are also are very sensitive to shifting outdoor temperatures and pathogens.

    Would you kindly edit photos and video of the domesticated rabbits out of your footage?

    And if anyone reading considers the care of a domesticated rabbit to no longer be feasible, please do contact your local rescue organizations, MSPCA, House Rabbit Network, etc., so that s/he may find a good home.

    Thank you, Jon, and all who accompany him with his work. I listen to you nearly daily and appreciate your commentaries.

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