A man has been hospitalised after he struck a rabbit while bicycling, and he is demanding the City of Reykjavík do something about the capital’s feral rabbit population.
“What needs to happen for the city to stand up and do something about this?,” Hlöðver Bernharður Jökulsson asked Vísir from his hospital bed. Hlöðver was bicycling on Friday morning in the Elliðaárdal area of Reykjavík when he accidentally struck a rabbit. In the ensuing accident, he collapsed a lung and broke several ribs, a few of them in multiple spots.
Hlöðver emphasised that he was not biking especially fast, and he believes the city needs to take action.
“I am quite sure that I am not the only one who has been thrown by one of these rabbits,” he said. “I think the time has come to do something about this.”
In fact, plans to remove all the rabbits – who are not native to Iceland – have been discussed for about two years now.
Iceland’s current rabbit population descends, for the most part, from pet rabbits which were released in the Elliðaárdal area of Reykjavík in 2010. In 2011, rabbits bounded onto a Reykjavík highway, causing a three-car pile up. By 2012, rabbits were plaguing farms in south Iceland, as they burrowed into hay bales intended for animal feed, leaving waste inside them. In 2013, Reykjavík made the decision to look into what options were available to deal with the rabbit issue.
For now, feral rabbits continue to dominate Elliðaárdal, surviving due to milder winters and thriving without impedance the rest of the year.