The City of Regina is using live traps because of an abundance of jack rabbits in the Harbour Landing neighbourhood.

Previously, the city did not have a rabbit control program, but recently the number of rabbits has increased dramatically. The city says the numbers are growing because there are no immediate predators.

“We’re not trying to eliminate 100 per cent of the animals, this is population control,” said manager of forestry, pest control and horticulture Russell Eirich.

The city says the traps are part of a two-year pilot project. Last year, the city caught 27 animals and 17 had to be euthanized.

Eirich says if one or two rabbits are caught, they are released back into the wild. Multiple rabbits caught at once will be euthanized.

“When you start to get multiple, then you’re starting to release in other peoples’ areas,” Eirich said. “And I don’t think it’s responsible to offload our problem onto them.”

The city says residents have called about rabbits damaging trees, including killing 40 younger trees in the Greens on Gardner neighbourhood.

Wildlife rescue volunteer Erin Pippin and her friend Karen Roberts are against the city’s plan.

“The amount of stress that they would be under not only for being really cold, but being in the traps, they would not last more than an hour or two,” Pippin said.

Roberts became concerned when she saw city crews dropping lettuce in a park.

“It’s not well thought of, it’s not planned,” she said.

Based on reporting by CTV’s Creeson Agecoutay