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Barnwood Bunnies "not being hunted" say police

By The Citizen  |  Posted: January 23, 2013

Comments (3)

POLICE have allayed concerns that Gloucester's cherished roundabout rabbits may have been hunted.

After concerns were expressed about declining numbers of the Barnwood bunnies on the Wall's roundabout, Gloucestershire Constabulary sent an officer to check for evidence of poaching.

While hunting rabbits isn't illegal, taking them from land without the owners' permission is not allowed. But all the officer found was evidence that there are still rabbits in the centre of the major Gloucester junction.

Gloucestershire naturalist Frank Tunbridge voiced concerns the bunnies, which have been there since at least 2004, were being hunted.

"I have been up there and almost all the holes are covered in leaves," he said. "There is one active burrow. I saw one rabbit. Even at this time of year there should be more than that. There are no footprints in the snow, except fox prints.

"Why are they disappearing? I still think they are being hunted."

The Barnwood Bunnies hold a special place in the hearts of many.

There is a Facebook site devoted to them and a Twitter account called @barnwoodbunnies.

Earlier this month fans of the rabbits wrote: "Only getting reports of small numbers of bunnies at the moment. "But it only takes a couple of bunnies to make many bunnies!"

A police spokesman sought to allay Mr Tunbridge's fears. "We didn't find evidence of any poaching but we did see some rabbits," he said.

Wicker bunnies adorning the roundabout have been taken down temporarily and put in to storage by Gloucester City Council.

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3 comments

  • FreeRadical1  |  January 24 2013, 4:10PM

    I'd love to know why Gloucestershire Constabulary took any notice of Frank. After all, he hadn't witnessed anything, and he doesn't own the roundabout. Clairey, the vet was correct. I saw a bunny with myxomatosis on that roundabout just before Christmas. When they have myxy, even if it doesn't kill them, rabbits are more susceptible to predation by foxes - hence the fact that Frank saw fox tracks in the snow. Frank is clearly a person who can put two and two together...and come up with about seventeen!

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  • TimMessanger  |  January 24 2013, 1:50PM

    I hope Frank will be charged with wasting police time!

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  • clairey2010  |  January 23 2013, 3:06PM

    I spoke to a vet recently who said that they had died out because of myxamotosis.

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