Wellington - It was a grim Easter for rabbits in New Zealand's Otago province, where nearly 400 hunters shot 16 121 bunnies in an annual hunt organised to put a smile on farmers' faces, news reports said on Monday.
Rabbits thrive on the wide open spaces of South Island ranches, where the fuzzy mammals are detested by farmers for chewing up grass that could be forage for sheep and cattle.
Hunters from all over New Zealand met on Good Friday at Alexandra, where they were assigned to farms and sheep stations within a 100-kilometre radius from the town and given 24 hours to shoot as many rabbits as they could.
Organiser Martin McPherson told the Southland Times that the total cull was down from last year, when about 22 000 were shot.
Brought to New Zealand by British colonial settlers to provide hunting sport and remind them of home, rabbits are among farmers' worst enemies in drought-prone Otago, where grass is scarce. - Sapa-DPA
Does this put the elephant culling issue into a new perspective ?