Police were called to a scene in the southeast community of Erlton after reports of two dead rabbits found on a path in St. Mary’s Cemetery Sunday morning.
A person walking in the area found the two animals next to each other.
Officers said they’re investigating to determine if the hares were poisoned, which some residents fear might be the case.
“That’s the worst thing in the world. If you don’t like them, then you should move. It causes a domino effect. Something could eat the poisoned rabbit and then that thing could also be poisoned, whether it’s a bird or a coyote. I wish they would fine those people,” David Schick, who lives in the area, said.
The community of Erlton is known for its booming feral rabbit population.
READ MORE: Increase in feral rabbits spurs calls to Calgary city councillor
“Some people let go of a bunch of domesticated pets and they are really promoting them by feeding them, which is obviously aggravating other people,” Thomas Smekal, an Erlton resident, said.
David Schick was out feeding the rabbits Sunday morning and a dozen of them bounded out onto 31 Avenue when he came out with food.
“I love the rabbits of Erlton. They are the best thing that ever happened to Erlton,” Schick said.
“A lot of people love them and they bring their children up here to see them and they bring them carrots and broccoli.”
Schick suspects there may be some poisoning going on because of conversations he’s had with neighbours who want to see the rabbit population culled.
“They put up little wires and stuff to keep them from chewing certain things. Not everybody loves them, especially if you have to live with them and they go around and they might eat your flowers and dig a little hole in your lawn,” Schick said. “When they get breeding though, anybody who wants to see rabbits – you should come here in the spring time. You’ll see all the rabbits you’ll ever want to see. You don’t have to go to the zoo and pay admission, you just come to Erlton and bring your carrots and you’re good.”
Last September, Coucillor Sean Chu told City Council he had been getting calls and emails from Calgarians concerned about the number of feral rabbits in some areas of the city.
Chu asked the city what could be done about the problem, but he was told that since the rabbits are wild, they’re under provincial Fish and Wildlife jurisdiction.
According to a Government of Alberta website, it is legal to shoot and trap rabbits but not poison them.