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Image: submitted by New Brunswick Invasive Species Council

A pet bunny is not the best Easter gift

By Tara Clow Mar 25, 2024 | 1:28 PM

A fluffy live bunny might not be the best choice if you’re looking for the perfect Easter gift.

“We can’t deny that bunnies are adorable and can make good pets. But the care and the time they need, unfortunately, a lot of people aren’t aware of that. They’re okay with it for the first couple months and then realize it’s not the best fit for them,” says Kristin Elton, Program Director for the New Brunswick Invasive Species Council.

She adds many rabbits are adopted at Easter on an impulse, and then they are surrendered a few months later or even released into the wild.

“If it hasn’t grown up in the wild, it doesn’t know where to find food or shelter, and it doesn’t know how to weather the conditions.

“Unfortunately, sometimes they can survive too well, and they do what rabbits are known for, and they reproduce. They start to overpopulate and that’s when we start to see impacts on native ecosystems, overforaging native plants. They can also introduce diseases to our native hare populations through such as the rabbit hemorrhagic fever,” Elton says.

Rabbits need a lot of space and mental stimulation, and you need to rabbit-proof your whole home, you have to be prepared to give them what they need for their lifetime, which can be up to ten years.

To educate more people about rabbits at this time of year, the Council has created a campaign called ‘Don’t let the Easter Bunny loose’.