The long ear and white tail war heats up

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HUMOUR — A recent outbreak of animal violence on UVic campus has spilled over from the outer woods and gardens and breached the academic protection that UVic affords students. A skirmish, between the returning UVic rabbit population and the urban deer population on the lawn in front of the David Strong Building resulted in the mauling of five students and two faculty members, with numerous other bystanders suffering minor flesh wounds. Campus security was able to evacuate the casualties to the campus Peterson clinic so they could receive medical care while awaiting ambulances to take them to Royal Jubilee Hospital.

This is the first time that UVic students have been directly harmed by the animal feud, but it’s not the first time that a fight has been reported. Campus Security has seen broken windows, mangled bus stops, half-eaten deer and rabbit corpses and animal parts found at varying locations on campus. One campus security officer, who attempted to stop a rabbit and deer fight, was reported to have lost two fingers and half her nose to a rabbit that attacked her after she pulled it off the neck of a deer.

“It is a simple case of two apex predators fighting for supremacy in their attempt to secure a stable food source and breeding area,” said Professor Timothy N. Chanter from the Biology Department.“ The rabbits were the dominant animal on campus until they were removed and sent to the extermination facility, but as you know, a number of them escaped and have since somehow managed to make their way back to UVic. There are even some indications that this may be an entirely new generation of rabbits that were born along the way.”

According to UVic Communications officer Ima Frayed, the university is looking into methods to deal with both hostile populations. “As soon as we got rid of the rabbits, the deer moved onto the campus grounds and started staking out their territory,” says Frayed “The surrounding animal population has given them a wide berth, especially now that we have entered mating season for the deer.”

The hawk population, which was the only thing keeping the rabbit population in check, has now moved on due to the open warfare that has broken out between the deer and the rabbits. UVic officials say they are looking for a possible third apex predator that could defeat both the deer and the rabbits, but would then be easy for ground staff to eradicate. The search is still ongoing.

In response to the recent deer and rabbit attacks, Cinecenta has cancelled a planned screening of the 1942 Disney classic Bambi.

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