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Forum editorial: Don’t call Fudd about the rabbits

To hear some south Fargo residents tell it, the city should hire a squad of Elmer Fudds to "kill da wa-a-a-bit, kill da wa-a-a-bit." Jackrabbits that is.

To hear some south Fargo residents tell it, the city should hire a squad of Elmer Fudds to “kill da wa-a-a-bit, kill da wa-a-a-bit.” Jackrabbits that is.
It seems a few residents of neighborhoods that are interspersed with expanses of open land see the big white (in winter) jacks as a pestilence that needs to be eliminated from the urban ecosystem. And why? Because the rabbits munch on lawns and leave droppings on the sidewalk.
Not good enough.
First, a snowless winter makes the jacks more visible. It is not uncommon to see a dozen or more of them cavorting in the weeds and grass of an undeveloped tract. If the snow were mid-winter deep, as it usually is, the rabbits would not be nibbling on lawn grass, nor would their droppings be an issue.
Second, the gentleman who said about the rabbits, “They are just kind of cool,” got it right. Jacks, of course, are common in rural fields. Fargo’s impressive rabbits have adapted to urban and suburban habitats – habitats created by the pattern of residential and commercial development, mostly in south Fargo and south West Fargo.
Third, no one should take seriously a suggestion the city sanction a jackrabbit hunt. Unlike the successful urban bow-and-arrow seasons for deer and turkeys along the wooded Red River, the bow is not the proper tool to down a jackrabbit. It would be foolish and dangerous to approve a rifle or shotgun rabbit hunt in city limits. Trapping would be ineffective, and no one with a measure of common sense wants to use poisons.
Finally, there this: What’s the problem? The jacks might be a nuisance but they are not a threat. No one should expect school children to be trampled by a rabbit stampede. We’ve not heard a single case of jacks accosting late-night pizza-delivery drivers. Mail carriers have not refused to work in south Fargo for fear of jackrabbits.
If anything, it’s the jacks that have something to worry about. For example, when urban rabbits cross busy roadways and get crossways with a vehicle, the vehicle always wins: roadkill – a winter meal for blackbirds, feral cats and the occasional fox who braves city life. It happens every night somewhere in the metro.
Got a problem with jackrabbits? Protect your gardens and ornamental plants. The rabbits are relatively shy creatures. They run like, well, jackrabbits, when they detect human movement. Shoo them away. They will go.
Even Elmer Fudd gets that.
Forum editorials represent the opinion of Forum management and the newspaper’s Editorial Board.

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