City In Washington State Being Overrun By Rabbits

The city of Langley is known as the "village by the sea,” but an exploding rabbit population might earn it the nickname "village full of rabbits.”

several rabbits on grass
Via King 5 News 
Bunnies might seem harmless, but when hundreds are foraging, digging and defecating in a small area, the results can be hazardous.

When are cute, furry rabbits not so cute? When there are hundreds or perhaps thousands overrunning an area. These are not wild rabbits species, but the European rabbit, which is the species all pet rabbits originate from. Australia has been dealing with an overabundance of European rabbits, an invasive species on that continent, since the mid-1800s. That situation is ongoing. And this season, a city in northwest Washington is facing its own rabbit invasion. 

Langley is on the south side of Whidbey Island, and it has a population of 1,035 according to the 2010 census. Thousands of other people call the island home, but in the city of Langley, it might be that the rabbit population is rivaling the human one. 

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In a report on K5, western Washington’s NBC television station, Eric Wilkinson interviewed residents about the problem, which people are saying has never been like this before. The rabbits are thought to be descended from some rabbits that escaped from the fairgrounds decades ago. 

The problems with so many rabbits are that they are digging holes, they are undermining building foundations and their feces are piling up — all of which create hazards for people. Some solutions have been tried without permanent success. The middle school is now considering building a fence at a cost of $60,000. But solutions for the town are still under debate. A community meeting has been set for October 7 to discuss the problem.

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