Animal cruelty as wild rabbits’ ears found pierced with keychains

Multiple wild rabbits have been spotted in downtown Chicago with keychains and old metro passes hanging from their pierced ears. It’s anything but cute – it’s downright animal cruelty.

According to DNA Chicago, conservation police with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources are investigating multiple reports of mutilated wild rabbits in the Lincoln Square area. Sgt. Jed Whitchurch’s team of conservation officers are responding to the complaints.

“I’ve been with the conservation police for 11 years now … it’s definitely not something I thought I’d see,” Whitchurch stated.

Wild rabbits are regulated under state law, and officials are working with the Chicago Police Department in an attempt to find the culprits responsible for the piercings. Wild rabbits can only be hunted or trapped with a permit during specific times of the year. Although many locals have joined in the search to trap the rabbits in order to remove the objects, the endeavor hasn’t been that successful. It is not known if the rabbits had been mutilated in the area, or if they had been raised as babies, pierced and then freed.

Domesticated rabbits are commonly tattooed inside of their ears as identification however piercing a rabbit’s ear, which can account for 12% of a rabbit can be crucial to their hearing and controlling their body temperature. Police are expected to be in contact with the Division of Natural Resources to formulate a plan to capture and help the bunnies. Catching the punk(s) who have done this to innocent rabbits just for laughs is another story, and unless responsible citizens step forward, these same people are likely to become more violent in the future.

(Photo of bunny’s pierced ears via screenshot from Facebook)

Anyone with information about this case should contact the conservation police at 847-608-3100.

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