The Tears of a Clown

Now if there's a smile upon my face…

October begins in Kelowna

The Kelowna Daily Courier has the welcome sight of two bathing beauties on the front page of the October 2 edition today. Any excuse one might say but the real reason is that The city hit record high temperatures for this time of year yesterday of 25.5C, beating the previous best by 0.5C. It’s all very welcome of course and certainly ‘Esdra Gunn and Kelli Strynadka both 21′ pictured sunning themselves at Gellatly Bay are easy enough on the eye over breakfast.

That same page has a much less salubrious article too unfortunately recording the possible plight of the some of the large population of bunnies that are to be found running wild on the grass verges around Kelowna. I’ve spoken of Kelowna’a bunny problem previously but at that time the eventual destiny of the floppy-eared creatures was yet to be decided. Some weeks later a ‘rabbit eradication program’ has begun rather sadly. It seems the rabbits are being shot with air rifles by a company called EBB who have been instructed by the local authorities.

City calls stomping disgusting and appalling

Today’s Courier report however speaks of a review on proceedings and rather more sinister actions than a straight cull of the animals. This has occurred after an EBB employee was reported as stomping a rabbit to death after it failed to die to order after being shot. The EBB have claimed that stomping on the animal was intended to ‘put the animal out of it’s misery’ after only being wounded by the shot.

Joe Creron. The Kelowna City Parks Manager is quoted as having asked a veterinarian about the practice of crushing a rabbit’s skull as a means of euthanasia and was informed that this was considered ‘a humane means of putting the animal down’. Creditably Mr. Creron begs to differ, claiming that ‘Although this may be considered humane by professionals, it’s not acceptable to the city’. He added ‘I was disgusted and appalled when I heard about it;. Hear hear Mr, Creron.

It’s easy to understand and accept that the Kelowna bunnies are a problem in the city, particularly posing a threat to farmers and their crops. At the same time I have to agree with Joe Creron and the city’s stand against this unfortunate practice.


October 3, 2008 Posted by | On The Road | , , | 2 Comments

Canada ’08: The Great Bunny Hunt

Since driving from the airport on our initial day back in Kelowna almost three weeks ago one thing struck me straight away. On the tidy green grass verges all around the city are hundreds of domestic bunnies scampering around playfully everywhere. Domestic certainly, these are not the wild rabbits seen commonly in the UK but rather, big, floppy-eared creatures that look like they belong in a cosy hutch in the back garden. They’re pretty cute actually sitting on the borders of the roads and highways with huge pick-up trucks thundering past them with the roar of their huge engines providing a counterpoint to the gentle nibbling of the bunnies. It’s reported that there are up to 700 of them are scattered around Kelowna.

In fact the original Kelowna rabbits were domestic pets that were either turned out of house and home or alternatively escaped, I am assured. Bunnies being what they are (and what they do best) are now taking over the city much to some people’s chagrin.

There are a number of lobbies and just as many opinions about what course of action to take about the animals. Thankfully the majority don’t coincide with the actions taken by two thugs reported in The Kelowna Daily Courier this week. A security guard spotted a 24 year-old man and his 14 year-old brother mindlessly attacking some of the rabbits with 1.5 metre-long sticks. Happily those two look to be facing charges of cruelty to animals.

Any day now, EBB Environmental is due to trap and kill the feral rabbits. No actual date is to be released due to threats received from individuals and groups prepared and ready to disrupt the cull. Three methods have been released according to a city representative. Perhaps none will be suitable for animal lovers but the methods proposed are firstly to trap the rabbits and give them to groups such TRACS who have been involved in saving the rabbits from the cull. Alternative propositions are to trap and then kill them by lethal injection and finally to trap and shoot them with high-powered rifles. The rabbits will then be offered to wildlife shelters as food.

What’s certain is that the future of Kelowna’s feral bunny population looks a bleak one. What a shame that this city problem has been allowed to grow to the proportions it has. Perhaps all stake-holders in this problem need to share a little blame for the Kelowna bunny’s plight.

August 15, 2008 Posted by | On The Road | , , , , | 1 Comment