Many Johannesburg residents are familiar with the on-going drama at the Benoni Bunny Park. The park was once a venue of choice for many family outings and in particular families with young children.
In the past two years, shocking details have come to light about animal neglect at the park and volunteer groups such as The “Public” Save the Bunnies have come to the rescue of many animals. Fortunately, many animals have been relocated and adopted but thousands of sickly and starving bunnies are still running around the park.
The animal welfare group Ban Animal Trading took the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality (EMM) to the high court earlier this year and the EMM was ordered to sterilise the bunnies and put them up for adoption. Due to the amount of bunnies that remain at the park, high sterilisation costs and the court order not being followed, the sterilisation program was not successful.
The EMM recently made the decision to donate 2000 bunnies to the Johannesburg Zoo for the zoo’s carnivores to consume as food. This decision naturally caused havoc amongst various animal welfare groups and animal lovers.
Then the unexpected twist… The Johannesburg Zoo put a hold on accepting rabbits from the Bunny Park due to pending legal action that is being taken against the EMM. It is said that Ban Animal Trading is currently preparing court papers to bring an application to the high court to stop the EMM from sending the bunnies to the zoo.
So… For now the bunnies are safe and will not become food!