Dead rabbits in Iona neighborhood causing concern

Reporter: Andrea Guerrero
Published: Updated:
A number of dead rabbits have been found in a Southwest Florida neighborhood have residents concerned. (CREDIT: WINK News)

Dead rabbits are causing concern in one Iona neighborhood.

Wildlife authorities don’t think the rabbits are dying as a result of being prey. They are investigating to determine what is causing the deaths.

Michael Monroe found a dead rabbit at his front door.

“I kind of let it go and then about two weeks later we saw another one behind the house and then after looking a little more there was another one 10 feet away,” Monroe said.

After talking to neighbors, Monroe realized he’s not the only one finding dead animals.

“I put two in two together and thought something is not right,” Monroe said. “So I did a little research on the Internet and came across this rabbit hemorrhagic disease RHDV2.”

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said that disease is something they’ve been keeping an eye on around the state.

But there is no confirmation that is what is killing rabbits in Southwest Florida.

“It’s a highly contagious disease. And it is a reportable disease, meaning there’s concern,” said Alison Charney Hussey, executive director for the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife.

Hussey said the virus only affects rabbits.

Now, Monroe just wants his neighbors to know he is there to help.

“I’m going to be here for a long time, so I want to be part of the solution,” he said.

If you find a dead rabbit, don’t touch it.

Instead, call the FWC to report it.

That will give them the chance to test the rabbit to see if it’s infected by the virus.

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