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Monday, February 1, 2010

Not Mr. Irrelevant, , ,

. . . but it probably should be.

Robben Island, the infamous prison island where Nelson Mandela was held for 18 years, is being overrun by rabbits. Since the prison closed and was later declared a World Heritage Site, bunnies have gone from being minor pests to a major pestilence. Without prison guards using them as target practice, the rabbits have been free to do what rabbits do: make more rabbits. Now, so many rabbits have been made that they are running out of food. "[The rabbits] were literally climbing up trees to eat anything that was green."

If the thought of tree-climbing rabbits unnerves you, you are not alone. The authorities quickly determined that something had to be done. An initial proposal to relocate the rabbits to the South African mainland was quickly nixed, proving that bureaucrats at least sometimes make the right decisions. A subsequent plan to euthanize the rabbits with lethal injections proved unworkable when the rabbits refused to cooperate by entering traps in significant enough numbers. Furthermore, when trapped, the rabbits' "terrorized faces and quivering bodies" made even the staunchest of trappers long for the sight of starving bunnies climbing trees.

The solution was obvious: Unleash a small army of aspiring Elmer Fudds to cull the herd (flock? pride? what's the collective term for bunnies?). Despite the perhaps unfortunate symbolism of armed South-African-government-authorized hunters traipsing through the underbrush, flushing out and massacring the majority population, the alternative--today Robben Island, tomorrow the Rabbit Continent--is decidedly inferior.

You read it here last!

1 comment:

  1. It gives me the chills thinking about tree-climbing rabbits...