Rabbits, guinea pigs go wild in Perth suburbs amid concerns numbers could get out of control & More Latest News

Abandoned rabbits and guinea pigs roaming free in some of Perth’s suburbs have been “breeding like rabbits” with the burden falling on volunteers to spherical them up earlier than numbers get out of control. 

For a number of months, residents in the northern suburb of Carine have raised concerns about escaped pet rabbits dwelling free in the streets and breeding.

The extent of the issue has since grow to be clearer after volunteer group Romeo’s Rabbit Rescue caught and eliminated six mini lop rabbits from the world, together with infants and a closely pregnant feminine, which has since had 4 infants.

Group founder Andrea White mentioned there have been doubtless extra out there.

“We think the owners just moved out and left them behind,” she mentioned.

“They don’t usually do well fending for themselves but with all the vegetation to hide in and eat they’ve survived.”

A woman in gardening gloves holds a net at dusk
Andrea White has been rescuing rabbits from Perth suburbs for greater than three years.(ABC News: Jacqueline Lynch)

The rescue got here simply weeks after the group eliminated a mom and 6 child rabbits from beneath a house in Thornlie, south-east of Perth.

Ms White mentioned the state of affairs was commonplace.

“Sadly, it’s quite common. The term breeding like rabbits is not a myth. They can have a litter and then a month later have another one,” she mentioned.

“It really can get out of hand quickly.”

The trapped rabbits are desexed, vaccinated, microchipped, and rehomed.

Two rescue bunnies inside
A latest colony of rabbits rescued from Carine included infants and a pregnant feminine.(Supplied: Romeo’s Rabbit Rescue)

Pocket pet dumping on the rise

WA rescue group Guinea Pig Haven has additionally been fielding increasingly calls about deserted guinea pigs in latest months.

Founder Claudia Lyons mentioned the group had gone from receiving one name each six months to greater than 20 calls in the previous three months.

“I would definitely say the increased living costs and the rental crisis has very much led to pocket pets getting dumped,” she mentioned.

“People can’t be picky and don’t have the time to wait [to surrender them], so sometimes they’re just very desperate and unfortunately need to dump their animal.

“It has been arduous the previous six months.”

A sick and malnourished guinea pig rescued from Perth
One of the guinea pigs rescued throughout the week was malnourished and had misplaced loads of fur.(Supplied: Guinea Pig Haven)

The group has been working to rescue a herd of stray guinea pigs found by a local foster carer in Parkerville in the Perth Hills.

Ms Lyons said the animals had taken refuge near a local restaurant and started breeding.

“At the second, I believe we’ve rescued 10 however I consider there are nonetheless others out there.”

“[The foster carer] has discovered infants, females and males, so we’re pondering that they’ve been breeding there. So we’re simply engaged on looking for all of them.”

A rescued guinea pig in an orange bed
Over the past two months, volunteers have rescued 10 guinea pigs from Parkerville in the Perth Hills.(Supplied: Guinea Pig Haven)

‘Please do not launch them’, says RSPCA

Fast-breeding animals like rabbits and guinea pigs have long caused issues for Perth pet owners.

In 2020 RSPCA WA was called out to deal with more than 100 rabbits at a Perth property, and in April this year welfare officers removed 56 guinea pigs from a Wanneroo home.

The RSPCA’s executive manager of animal and enforcement operations, Hannah Dreaver, said it was “quite common” for people to end up with unwanted litters because it was difficult to tell the difference between male and female rabbits and guinea pigs.

“One of the most important causes that we’ve for these varieties of animals being surrendered is as a result of they’ve ended up with two of the alternative intercourse and ended up with undesirable litters,” she mentioned.

Hannah Dreaver in RSPCA shirt
RSPCA WA’s Hannah Dreaver says people should make sure their rabbits are sexed correctly or sterilised.(Supplied: RSPCA WA)

Ms Dreaver said pet owners should let a professional determine the sex of their animals or get them sterilised.

She warned people not to release any unwanted animals onto the streets and said it was “worrying” to hear about situations where fast-breeding animals were living on the street.

“Please do not launch them into the wild,” Ms Dreaver mentioned.

“Once they find yourself out on the streets, they’re much more uncontrolled.”

The RSPCA will intervene in situations where there are concerns about animal welfare but urged people to report stray rabbits or guinea pigs to the local council.

A bunny surrounded by wildflowers
The rescued rabbits have been discovered roaming free in Carine and Thornlie in latest weeks.(Supplied: Romeo’s Rabbit Rescue)


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