Second bunny shoot for Queenstown Gardens after round one success

by Kim Bowden - Dec 12, 2023

Queenstown's central botanical gardens will become a no-go zone tonight for the second time in as many weeks while a professional hunter shoots problem rabbits.

At the end of November the Queenstown Lakes District Council contractor culled more than 50 rabbits over several hours at the gardens, located on a peninsula close to the centre of town.

From 9pm tonight (Tuesday, December 12) the gardens will be cordoned off once again for an estimated three to four hours while further rabbits are culled.

Walking tracks will be closed to visitors, with signage and personnel at all main entry points to ensure no one can enter the area while shooting is underway.

In an alert published to social media, the council asks members of the public to follow all instructions for their own safety.

"The police, along with neighbouring residents, clubs, and businesses have been notified of this operation. Please be aware that noise from firearms, which are silenced, may be heard outside the Queenstown Gardens Reserve," the council says.

The contractor uses thermal imaging technology to shoot the rabbits after dark, and two weeks ago shot 52 of them.

The animals are considered a pest in this location due to the damage they do to plants, but laying poison would be problematic due to the number of people and dogs visiting the reserve land.

QLDC parks manager Clare Tomkins says the number of rabbits culled during round one of the operation was about what was expected, and she is comfortable with the council's plan of attack.

"We received no complaints. The operation was planned well and carried out successfully as a result. We’d like to thank members of the public for adhering to warning signage and instructions from safety personnel manning cordons."

Tonight's cordon is expected to be lifted by 1am.

Advertise with Crux Advertise with Crux