Rabbits invading Helsinki

Monday, August 14, 2006 at 23:29 | Posted in Environment, Finland, helsinki | 2 Comments
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Rabbits do not belong to the natural fauna in Finland but there are thousands of them in Helsinki. According to Hufvusdstadsbladet, somebody must have released their pet rabbits, several of them, a few years ago. Baring in mind rabbits’ speedy increasing rate, those wild rabbits have become something of a annoyance in the city’s parks, gardens and cemeteries.

Unlike hare, rabbit eats almost anything. The wild rabbits in Helsinki seem to be particulary fond of violets and chrysanthemums, just the sort of flowers that you would find in a cemetery. According to Ari Pipatti, the head gardener of Hietaniemi cemetery, there are hundreds of rabbits in the graveyard eating up flowers at the graves. There were none of them just a couple of years ago.

The Ministry of Agriculture does not take the problem very seriously. Rabbit has been classified as wild game which may be hunted with a bow and arrow. The ministry is not going to allow the gardeners to use more effective means to fight those rabbits.

The rabbits have been seen in the City Garden for about five years. The head gardener Pentti Anttonen fears that mild winters may contribute to an increased rabbit population which would make it practically impossible to protect the plants in the gardens. Rabbit is cleverer than hare which can be stopped by protecting plants with a net. Rabbits just dig themselves under those nets and fences or climb over them.


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