California

Bunny blitz: Rabbits go from cute to nuisance, overrun Bay Area neighborhood

Two domestic rabbits hide underneath a parked car in Antioch’s Almondridge neighborhood where they have been roaming free and multiplying much to the dismay of some residents. (Judith Prieve/Staff)
Two domestic rabbits hide underneath a parked car in Antioch’s Almondridge neighborhood where they have been roaming free and multiplying much to the dismay of some residents. (Judith Prieve/Staff) Bay Area News Group

At first there were two – but they’re bunny rabbits, and bunny rabbits do what they do. Now residents of the Bay Area city of Antioch are done.

Rabbits, lots of them, have taken over the Almondridge neighborhood in Contra Costa County, hopping from block to block, bounding under cars, feasting on everything they see, from front yard lawns to backyard bulbs.

“Brazen bunnies,” said the East Bay Times. “They’re taking over,” cried Oakland television station KTVU. San Francisco’s KPIX sounded the alarm: “Bunny Invasion.”

Residents in Almondridge think they know the source of their growing woe, the East Bay Times reported last week. Rabbits that were dumped or escaped from neighboring homes.

Either way, the rabbits are everywhere, it seems, and neighbors here have had it.

Homeowners on Almondridge’s Wilson Court told KPIX over the weekend the bunnies dotting their lawns last December added an adorable touch to their quiet cul-de-sac.

The rabbits, Mike Christoper told KPIX, were “pretty cute.”

Then came March and Almondridge turned to Watership Down.

“There were rabbits all over the street, all over the sidewalks, all over the grass and it slowly went…actually pretty fast, it went from seven to 10 to about 50 rabbits just all over the neighborhood,” Christopher said in an interview with KPIX. “And from then, it started to not be cute anymore.”

An invasion, indeed, the rabbits leaving destruction – and droppings, plenty of droppings – in their wake. Just ask Darrell Stovall, who talked to KTVU on Saturday.

Stovall related how he’s become the neighborhood’s unofficial rabbit rustler, rounding up the animals for trips to the Antioch shelter and building barricades along his fence line to keep the bunnies at bay.

“They’re taking over. They’re destructive. They dig into the yards and they dig for the roots. So they dig down deep,” Stovall said.

And, as Kayla Chstropher told KTVU:

“They just poop everywhere.”

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Darrell Smith covers courts and California news for The Sacramento Bee. He joined The Bee in 2006 and previously worked at newspapers in Palm Springs, Colorado Springs, Colo., and Marysville. A Sacramento Valley native, Smith was born and raised at Beale Air Force Base, near Marysville.
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