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CHICAGO (CBS) – A Rogers Park animal shelter says it’s seeing a big increase in the number of pet rabbits that have been released into the wild – with unfortunate consequences.
WBBM Newsradio’s Steve Miller reports that the most recent example, according to Red Door Animal Shelter manager Matt Gannon, is nine rabbits found on the grounds of Northside College Prep High School in Chicago.
All nine are domestic rabbits – meaning, they’d been somebody’s pets. They had bite wounds, abscesses and parasites. Three of the rabbits died.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Steve Miller Reports
“This is just kind of a small example of a large issue we’ve been seeing,” Gannon said.
The shelter is seeing a lot more abandoned domestic rabbits this year, according to Gannon.
“It’s hard to say why we’re seeing more. It could be very much based on the economy,” he said.
Gannon said many people just don’t get it – that domestic rabbits cannot survive in nature.
“Because they see wild rabbits outside and they believe their pet rabbits can also live outside, which they wouldn’t really be able to survive outside any more than you or I would be able to,” he said.
Five of the surviving rabbits are healthy now and will soon by ready for adoption, according to Gannon.