Rabbit Advocacy Animal Matters


The mysterious case of Calgary’s frolicking arrow-shot bunnies

April 7, 2013 Jen Gerson, National Post

The calls come every year, around the time that the snow melts and Calgary’s plentiful jackrabbit population begins to lose its white winter coat.

Residents around the suburban edges of the city peek outside to see a rabbit nibbling on new grass — a common enough sight. But then, something doesn’t seem quite right: The rabbit is hopping along, healthy as anything, but what’s weird is the arrow — complete with neon tail feathers — piercing the creature clean through.

A spokesperson for the Calgary Humane Society said the organization gets about 10 calls like this per year. Police, fish and wildlife or humane officers are dispatched, but more often than not, the bunny is gone before they get to the scene. So far this spring, two targeted rabbits have been caught alive. One survived surgery. The other died. Numerous sightings of frolicking arrow-shot bunnies have been reported in local media for the past several years.

The mystery endures; the culprits have eluded all detection, much less capture. Officials have been left to puzzle why anyone would shoot rabbits and leave them to suffer before dying. “I think what it comes down to is that people are just tired of the bunnies. That’s probably what we’re finding, that in certain areas they certainly are a nuisance. “But to take care of it in this type of a manner is definitely not right,” said Steve Adair, a detective with the Calgary Police Service.

Police have taken fingerprints from the recovered arrows from the two rabbits caught so far this year. They were two different kinds of arrows, shot from different types of bows, Det. Adair said — indicating more than one person is responsible.

Bylaws prohibit shooting arrows in city limits, but it’s not illegal to hunt the animals. Bunnies are so plentiful in the region that it’s open season year round, said Ed Pirogowicz, a fish and wildlife officer with the province. The only time police would lay charges in the case is if there were signs of animal cruelty. That’s why officers are keen to find out who shot the rabbits, and why.

 “Basically, you can hunt rabbits throughout the year and you can hunt them with a bow and arrow and a firearm where it’s legal to to do so. Unfortunately if it does not hit them right, [the arrow] can just pass through and it doesn’t do any damage to the internal organs. The animal can survive,” Mr. Pirogowicz said. In other words, it’s entirely possible that legal hunters hit the rabbits, but missed the internal organs. The animals could have then just hopped away into nearby suburban yards.

The only laws that may have been broken are bylaws prohibiting discharge of a weapon; police would need to show the bunny shooters had no intention of consuming the creature in order to prove it was an act of cruelty.

“The problem with rabbits, and the two we’ve located this year, is that we don’t know where they were shot, we don’t know what the intent of the shooter was and so there would be no way anybody could proceed criminally,” Det. Adair said. Police haven’t ruled out the possibility that the bunnies are being shot on nearby farms or reserves.

Comment: Somebody has to know who these idiot/s are and turn them in. How very sad that the innocent are targetted by such cowards.

July 22, 2019  3rd rabbit (feral domestic) spotted in SE Calgary with arrow through it. Another rabbit was seen roaming around southeast Calgary with an arrow through its back on Monday.

It’s the third time this year an incident like this has happened. One rabbit was seen with an arrow lodged in its body in May and a small rabbit was seen in the Manchester Industrial area with an arrow through its shoulder a week ago.

While it is legal for rabbits to be hunted within city limits, the use of bows is not. It is still unknown if all three cases are linked or if the animals were shot by different people. Source: Global News Comment: The person/s doing this must be stopped; it’s a reckless use of a weapon and callous disregard for life.

Hunting UVic rabbits is illegal, inhumane, and immoral; bylaw violations; justice denied

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