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(Reuters) - A Canadian charity, appropriately named EARS, is offering to help a Rocky Mountain town deal with its bunny problem, promising to neuter and spay the unwanted rabbits rather than let the city carry out its trap-and-cull proposal.
The estimated 2,000 rabbits of Canmore, Alberta, are the black, white and brown descendents of pets released into the wild. "They are not a native wildlife species," the city said sternly in a news release on Wednesday.
Under the new proposal, which has yet to be finalized, Earthanimal Humane Education and Rescue Society (EARS) would trap and spay or neuter the feral rabbits, and then provide a sanctuary for them to live out their lives.
"EARS has brought us a sound proposal and we are looking forward to working with them," Canmore Mayor Ron Casey said in a statement. "We want to make sure that any transfer of rabbits is done responsibly. We can't have our problem become someone else's."
Canmore had wanted to trap and kill the feral rabbits, prompting protests from animal rights groups.
Reporting by Janet Guttsman in Toronto; editing by Rob Wilson