01/10/2012 02:19 EST | Updated 03/11/2012 05:12 EDT

Delta Rabbits: Feral Animals On B.C. Public Land To Be Captured

Flickr: JoshuaDavisPhotography
DELTA, B.C. - Hundreds of feral rabbits that are causing damage as they frolic on public land in Delta, B.C., will soon be heading to a new home.

The city says that for the next five months, a local animal shelter will capture and sterilize 20 to 25 rabbits a week and release them at a park that's a historical feral rabbit habitat.

The rabbits have caused extensive damage to landscaping and building foundations at the local leisure centre, a sports centre and a hospice.

There are also safety concerns for children chasing and feeding the animals in and around parking lots and roadways.

About 500 rabbits are currently living around the civic area, and the city says the problem is the result of people abandoning their pets.

Delta plans to create a public education program to discourage people from abandoning rabbits and a bylaw to restrict the sale of unsterilized rabbits in pet stores.

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