When Pests are Cute

interns Contributor
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Out at the University of Victoria, in British Columbia, rancor is rising over how to handle an expanding colony of feral, and largely tame, rabbits.

The university this spring finished a pilot project testing the merits of sterilizing and releasing rabbits and, shortly afterward, decided to start killing rabbits (lethal injection) around athletic fields where their burrows pose a tripping hazard. Animal welfare campaigners have decried the decision.

A similar rabbit overrun in Long Beach, Calif., has so far been handled by capturing and, in some cases, sterilizing and releasing the animals.

Humans are increasingly upending biology, often making choices based on aesthetics as much as anything else. The rabbits bouncing around the Canadian campus were ridiculously cute. So were the deer in Princeton, N.J., where I reported back in 2002 on an absurd situation in which some homeowners were putting out sacks of corn to feed the animals while others nearby were hiring sharpshooters to cull herds.

Full story: When Pests are Cute