Rab­bit shoot star­tles sleep­ing res­i­dents

Central Leader - - FRONT PAGE - CA­TRIN OWEN

Auck­land res­i­dents have been left fright­ened and an­gry af­ter not be­ing no­ti­fied about a rab­bit shoot tak­ing place in Corn­wall Park.

Michele Bishop, who lives ad­ja­cent to Corn­wall Park, said she got a fright af­ter wak­ing up to see a hunter with a gun roam­ing around in a field by her bed­room.

‘‘I woke up just af­ter mid­night on March 6 to car headlights shin­ing in my bed­room,’’ she said.

‘‘I looked out and they were driv­ing around the pad­dock shoot­ing rab­bits.’’

None of the neigh­bour­ing prop­er­ties were no­ti­fied about the rab­bit cull by the Corn­wall Park Trust Board.

‘‘It is danger­ous, peo­ple can be walk­ing through the park late at night and bul­lets can ric­o­chet,’’ Bishop said.

‘‘There are other ways of con­trol­ling the rab­bits.’’

Bishop’s bed­room win­dow is about eight me­tres from the park’s bound­ary fence.

‘‘Hav­ing some­one driv­ing down the pad­dock is rather scary and other neigh­bours could hear talk­ing and were awak­ened by it all.’’

Suzanne Trewheela also lives on Camp­bell Rd and was fright­ened by the hunters.

Both Trewheela and Bishop said they would have ap­pre­ci­ated be­ing in­formed prior to the cull.

A spokes­woman for the Corn­wall Park Trust Board con­firmed res­i­dents were not no­ti­fied about the rab­bit cull that took place on March 6.

‘‘We are sorry if this cull has caused con­cern and we will re­view our pro­ce­dures for no­ti­fy­ing res­i­dents about fu­ture culls,’’ she said.

Rab­bits were culled at the park from time to time by pro­fes­sional pest erad­i­ca­tors who had the qual­i­fi­ca­tions and ex­pe­ri­ence to op­er­ate safely and legally in the park, she said.

The spokes­woman said the culls were car­ried out us­ing air ri­fles only and un­der strict safety guide­lines.

Firearms Safety Spe­cial­ists di­rec­tor Ni­cole McKee said out of courtesy the neigh­bours should have been no­ti­fied.

McKee said the board car­ried out the rest of the cull cor­rectly.

Po­lice were ad­vised by the board prior to the night shoot.

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