Tuesday, July 17 , 2018, 4:07 pm | Fair 72º


Hair-raising Tale of 20 Rabbits Dumped on Figuroa Mountain

BUNS group is trying to find out who left the domestic bunnies without water or protection

A few of the rabbits rescued after being abandoned on Figueroa Mountain Road.
A few of the rabbits rescued after being abandoned on Figueroa Mountain Road. (Bunnies Urgently Needing Shelter)

The community is being asked to help identify the person or persons who abandoned more than 20 rabbits on Figueroa Mountain Road on Aug. 1. The rabbits were dumped at the first cattle guard.

About 9:30 p.m., a woman and her daughter saw the rabbits and stopped. They were able to catch two of the bunnies. The rabbits were without water or protection from predators. The woman contacted Bunnies Urgently Needing Shelter (BUNS).

Anyone with information about who abandoned the rabbits is also asked to contact BUNS at 683-0521 or email [email protected]

The next day, when the temperature had soared to over 100 degrees, another woman and her children caught eight more rabbits. She also found and photographed four dead rabbits.

Santa Barbara County Animal Services and the Animal Rescue Team, alerted to the crisis, were able to catch one rabbit later that day. They found and removed one dead rabbit, and left food and water for the remaining rabbits.

Teams of volunteers from BUNS made several searches of the area and caught three rabbits and found remains of about seven others.

Most of the rabbits caught on Figueroa Mountain Road were taken to the Lompoc Shelter and transferred to Goleta where they were given to BUNS.

With the three rabbits caught by their volunteers, BUNS is caring for 11 Figueroa Mountain bunnies. Three bunnies will be kept by their finders. Between the 15 rabbits recovered alive and the remains found at the site, it is estimated some 20-plus rabbits were abandoned.

Releasing domestic rabbits into the wild is cruel and neglectful. It should lead to prosecution. Left in the wild, domestic rabbits do not have a safe living space. They do not know where to find water and do not know which plants are safe to eat. They do not know how to identify or avoid predators.

Worst of all, this group of rabbits was abandoned without water when daily temperatures were in excess of 100 degrees. It is likely some of the initial deaths were due to heat stroke. Still others were hunted by coyotes, foxes or bobcats.

There is no reason to abandon a rabbit. For those who cannot keep their rabbits, BUNS can help find a safe alternative to abandonment. Anyone needing assistance with their rabbit/s can call BUNS, 683-0521.

— Alma Hernandez for Bunnies Urgently Needing Shelter.


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