Rabbiting on


Driving home at dusk we passed a roadside verge crowded with rabbits grazing on the dried out grass. Mrs R. remarked that you hardly ever see a squashed rabbit in the road these days.

She’s right. Twenty or thirty years ago you would always come across a flattened rabbit or two on a country road and it was a common sight to see them scampering across the carriageway in front of you. These days you would be hard pressed to find enough rabbit-roadkill to make a small pair of gloves and a bowl of thin soup.

Have rabbits evolved to cross the road more carefully? Or have they evolved into small communities which never need to cross the road?

Perhaps there are just fewer rabbits around. This could be a side effect of the fox hunting ban. You probably see a lot more dead foxes by the side of the road, but this could be because fox soup tastes horrible.

I would like to know.

7 Responses to “Rabbiting on”

  1. I’d like to think rabbits have evolved into communites that construct warrens with tunnels that go under the road thus eliminating the need to cross the road because they are under it! kind of like the subways at the top of St Stephens 😉

  2. 2 Andy, Perth

    That might explain the increased number of potholes – due to subsidence.

  3. 3 Mike S

    It’s not bad actually – a bit like a gamier version of ox-tail.

  4. 5 Fiona

    It could also be that the rabbits are healier nowadays and the ones you used to see squashed on the road were suffering from miximatosis (or some similar spelling). Seem to remember that there was a plague of mixi rabbits in the 70’s or there abouts

    • 6 Derek Wright

      I agree Fiona; I think that this is the reason. Myxomatosis wiped the little bunnies out in droves; they staggered about on the roads, unable to see….splat! But some had immunity and I assume that this immunity has now been passed into the wider gene pool, so fewer bunnies with myxi, fewer bunnies being splatted.

  5. 7 Camilla

    Perhaps people are driving just a little bit more slowly? (Wishful thinking I know). I drove along a quiet country lane last night and saw dozens of little rabbits frolicking in the road, so they are still around. I didn’t see many bigger ones, so perhaps adult rabbits have been reading Watership Down….

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