Rabbit shoot startles sleeping residents
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.