February 18, 2013
Bunnies Find Fast Food At The Denver International Airport
On February 17, 2013, I posted a blog about a cute baby pig and his new wheels. Well, I learned about another cute animal that is wreaking havoc on other people’s wheels. According to the Associated Press (AP), bunnies have been enjoying midnight snacks at that Denver International Airport. Apparently, these bunnies have been eating spark plug cables and wiring in cars parked at the airport.
Several solutions are in action. The first is simple removal of about 100 bunnies per a month, although the AP did not explain what removal consisted of. Another step the airport and federal wildlife workers have taken is to install better fencing to keep the rabbits out. Additionally, they also are building perches for predator hawks and eagles in an attempt to use natural predator and prey relationships to control the snacking of bunnies.
Finally, mechanics suggest that customers who will park their cars at the airport should coat the wires with either fox or coyote urine. The scent of the predators eliminates the rabbits’ appetites.
As airport spokeswoman Laura Cole explained, out of the 4.3 million parking transactions in 2012, three people submitted claims for rabbit damage. If only three claims were submitted, I wonder how much of a plague the rabbits pose. Perhaps some did not submit claims to the airport or maybe the airport is just trying to keep the problem under control. Either way, three out of 4.3 million is not that big of deal.
Nonetheless, I can’t imagine how frustrating it would be to come home from domestic or international travel only to find that my car did not work because bunnies needed a snack. The last thing I would want to deal with after a trip is airport personnel, mechanics, and finding someone to pick me up.
On the other hand, I can’t help but wonder if part of this problem comes from the imposition of the human world on the natural world. Why are the bunnies eating at the airport? Have they been removed or forced to find a new home? I am not trying to be an environmental conspiracy theorist here, but I do think we need to consider the why of this problem. Why are there so many bunnies?
Obviously, a good move is to use nature to combat the problem by installing the perches for the hawks and eagles. However, a new problem might present itself—the dead carcasses of the bunnies. If hawks and eagles prey upon the bunnies, they will likely leave what is left of the bodies and this means that the Denver International Airport will have to clean that up. I mean, nobody is going to want to park in a lot full of dead bunnies.
Well, at least I wouldn’t.
I sort of feel sorry for bunnies. Throughout history, bunnies have been the recipients of bad press. They have been hunted in England, Scotland, and Ireland so much that the latter two countries have governmental acts that restrict selling and shooting hares. Then there is the problem of how quickly they reproduce, which has also become a joke. Farmer’s worldwide set traps, shoot, and have plans to keep bunnies out of their crops. And let’s not forget that the rabbit is considered a trickster for many Native American tribes. Now, they eat too many wires at the Denver International Airport.
Bunnies are definitely cute, but ultimately they are a rodent, which means that they pose dangers in more ways than one. I do hope that the predators help to control the bunny problem at the airport.
Image Credit: Photos.com