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The Bunny Problem

You may not have heard, but Las Vegas has a bunny problem.

The Bunny Problem

Walking down the Las Vegas Strip on Easter Sunday, you might not have been surprised to see a chubby figure wearing bunny ears and a fuzzy coat. It goes with the season. On the Fourth of July, it’s not unusual to encounter several Uncle Sams along the Strip. On Elvis Presley’s birthday in January, people sometimes have to wade through crowds of sideburned, jump-suited revelers, all saying “Thangya. Thangya very much.”

In December, I’ve encountered numerous drunken Santas in the gaming capital. Once, a Santa with a bald head and a tambourine wished me a “Merry Krishna.”

But this Easter, not everyone in bunny ears was a stubble-bearded reveler with a basket of eggs and a quart of hooch. A lot of those bunny-eared figures were… well, bunnies.

You may not have heard, but Las Vegas has a bunny problem. Feral bunnies are all over the place, reportedly the result of people buying pet rabbits, finding out they’re too hard to take care of, and deciding to “set them free.” The problem in doing that is there are no remote farms or lush woodlands in Vegas into which the bunnies can be released to romp for the remainder of their happy lives. They essentially become urban homeless with floppy ears.

But they don’t sleep under bridges or panhandle. (“Hey, brother… Spare carrot?”) They do what wascally wabbits do. They make more wascally wabbits. And more. And more. It’s only a matter of time before they develop Brooklyn accents and start asking, “What’s up, Doc?” Or worse, start biting the heads off tourists like the killer rabbits in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. (“Run away! Run away!”)

According to the website bunniesmatter.org (seriously), a female rabbit can produce a dozen babies every month. In two years, one pregnant rabbit can become 2,700 rabbits. You can take it from there.

OK, maybe they’re not overtaking the buffets yet, or jostling for position on Strip sidewalks with the slimeball “porn-slappers” sticking cards in your face as you walk. (“Hot bunnies! All nationalities!”) But they’re certainly on the golf courses (usually in foursomes), in the landscaping, in parks and on a few traffic islands. According to the the website, at a large state mental hospital that is one of several “bunny dump sites,” fights have broken out among the bunnies, I’m guessing after political arguments.

Not really. Evidently, it’s more a territorial thing, like bunny gangstas protecting their turf.

To deal with the problem, animal rights activists and other concerned citizens like those who created the Bunnies Matter website, and the Facebook page “Bunnies Matter in Vegas Too,” are doing the natural, humane act—they’re feeding them. Volunteers travel to all the dump sites around town with food and water.

You know, I’m no expert, but it doesn’t seem to me that feeding animals will lead to a drop in the feral population.

Clark County Animal Control reportedly has no desire to round up the animals, so I guess there’s only one alternative…

Shhhh… be very quiet. I’m hunting for wabbits! Hehehe…

Oh, don’t write letters. I’m kidding. Besides, I’m pretty sure it’s Duck Season, not Wabbit Season.

Speaking of rampantly reproducing rodents, did you ever wonder what happened to Jon Gosselin, the former co-star of the TLC reality show Jon & Kate Plus 8? As you’ll recall, that was the show featuring the travails of a couple that evidently took industrial-strength fertility drugs and produced a litter of eight babies.

The reality show placed bright lights and cameras in the Gosselins’ home to follow the couple along as they tore their hair out trying to take care of a gaggle of drooling babies. It was canceled after the Gosselins got divorced. It was followed by the short-lived Kate Plus 8, which drew criticism about now-single-mom Kate exploiting her children. That show was canceled too, I think because some of the kids were shaving by then.

Well, Jon Gosselin has apparently resurfaced at Caesars Atlantic City. He has joined the “Untamed Male Review” at the Dusk Nightclub, as a stripper. His first show was slated for April 1, and it just goes to show that if you’re a celebrity, casinos will eventually find something for you to do.

I’m guessing the now-buff Gosselin will soon have himself another mate, and another reality show. Before you know it, as Vegas deals with its feral rabbit problem, Atlantic City will be dealing with feral Gosselins.

Hey, maybe Jon can move to Vegas. “Tune into TLC for Jon & Kate Plus 2,700 Bunnies!

Now, that’s entertainment.

Frank Legato is editor of Global Gaming Business magazine. He has been writing on gaming topics since 1984, when he launched and served as editor of Casino Gaming magazine. Legato, a nationally recognized expert on slot machines, has served as editor and reporter for a variety of gaming publications, including Public Gaming, IGWB, Casino Journal, Casino Player, Strictly Slots and Atlantic City Insider. He has an B.A. in journalism and an M.A. in communications from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. He is the author of the books, How To Win Millions Playing Slot Machines... Or Lose Trying, and Atlantic City: In Living Color.  

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