‘Montmartre Park’, located at Banpo, Seoul is also called as ‘Rabbit Park’ since rabbits appear everywhere in the park. Attracted by the rabbits, many families with children visit Montmartre Park on weekends to feed and have a fun experience with the park’s rabbits. As the park and its rabbits have gained fame around Seoul, however, more and more rabbits are being abandoned at the park—and this is a problem that is not only happening at Montmartre Park. Rabbits, which can easily be adopted from marts and pet shops, are also being thrown away on streets. A law must ban the growing problem of rabbit abandonment in Seoul.
To begin with, domesticated (or “pet”) rabbits are not originally wild animals. Yet when their little, cute baby rabbits become big and hard to take care of, some people release them into a forest and say, “I am returning them back to nature.” Rabbits raised by people are commonly ‘Dwarf Hotot’ or mascara rabbits, the result of hybridization of Polish and Dutch rabbit breeds. These rabbits, which are the rabbits usually found in Montmartre Park, were bred for being human pets. Since they are originally not wild animals, these rabbits must not be released into the wild. Secondly, the environment rabbits are exposed to is very dangerous. Due to the threat of street cats and dogs strolling around, many rabbits people see in parks are wounded. Some rabbits have ripped ears and scars on their bodies. Moreover, the sunlight on hot summer days like these is fatal to rabbits, as they are prone to sunstroke. Eating grass covered with pesticide also threatens the lives of rabbits. For these reasons, the environment of abandoned rabbits is lethal to rabbits. Lastly, inundation of rabbits can destroy the local ecosystem. The number of species in an ecological system is naturally controlled by the food chain. So, when one particular member in the ecosystem either increases or decreases, the balance breaks and the damage can last for a long time. In Australia, the number of rabbits increased very quickly after some of them were released into grasslands, where the upset the ecological balance. As the case of the rabbits in Australia famously shows, releasing rabbits “back to nature” can cause the destruction of the ecosystem.
Recently, the number of rabbits adopted and left alone in the park has simultaneously increased. ‘Sending them back to the nature’ is an incorrect phrase since these rabbits are not originally wild animals. Abandoning rabbits is just a selfish human action committed by people who want to get rid of their responsibility for their pets. Moreover, the lives of those released rabbits are threatened by an environment for which they are unsuited. Therefore, releasing rabbits, which can lead to serious problems, should be banned by law.
< 저작권자 © 중앙헤럴드 무단전재 및 재배포금지 >