By Jared Morgan
The message couldn’t be any clearer – in terms of Central Otago and Wanaka’s countryside there’s solely one bunny welcome at Easter.
Twenty-five groups of 12 got down to show that on the weekend.
Yesterday the weary hunters from throughout the South Island and past returned to the Dunstan Equestrian Centre close to Alexandra to tally the numbers of rabbits killed as a part of the expanded-format Nice Easter Bunny Hunt.
Historically 24 hours lengthy, this 12 months’s Alexandra Lions Membership occasion ran from 8am on Good Friday till yesterday.
The hunt was final held in 2017.
It was cancelled the next 12 months due to the Otago Regional Council K5 rabbit virus launch programme.
Additional cancellations adopted in 2019, as a result of an excessive fireplace threat, and final 12 months, due to Covid-19.
The three-year hiatus and the longer time-frame have been mirrored within the dying toll netted from blocks of land from from Millers Flat, to Wanaka, and to Lauder.
A complete of 11,968 rabbits have been shot together with 555 different pests – stoats, possums, turkeys, and extra, making for a complete of 12,523 animals shot.
In 2017, 8069 rabbits have been shot.
Leona Evans, of the second-placed Hokonui A Staff, from Invercargill, mentioned the occasion was a “bit moist firstly” and “a bit windy on the finish”.
Staff-mate Colin Evans mentioned it was “good within the center”.
Christchurch man Eddie Lai, a member of the Bannockburn Bunny Killers staff, mentioned he had enjoyable however believed his staff had fared the worst.
“I feel we acquired the least – we solely acquired 100 or so.”
The successful staff was Overkill with 1185 rabbits, runner up was the Hokonui A Staff with 1160 rabbits, and the Celine Dion Fan Membership Staff got here in third with 1146 rabbits.
This story first appeared in the Otago Each day Instances