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Multiplying rabbits become a concern for experts

OKLAHOMA – We are well past Easter, but Peter Cottontail is still hopping down the bunny trail in Oklahoma.

Rabbits seem to be everywhere this year – more than usual – and experts say they’re not going away anytime soon.

“They’re literally multiplying like rabbits,” Rondi Large, Director of Wildcare Foundation in Noble, said Wednesday.

WildCare Foundation has already taken in more than 700 Eastern Cottontail rabbits this year – easily surpassing last year’s pace.

But these small, wild bunnies are too stressed out to be your adorable family pet.

“The little cottontail is a nervous little guy,” Large said, “and any movement, he thinks he’s going to be eaten and if he doesn’t run for his life, he will be eaten out there in the wild.”

So why is 2014 the year of the rabbit?

“Our cool and wet conditions this summer have caused an uptick in the rabbit population,” the Department of Wildlife Conservation’s Don Brown said.

Since this summer has not been a scorcher, rabbits keep breeding.

In less than a month, one female can have a litter of four to seven bunnies – and up to six litters in a single year if conditions are right.

“If anyone is inclined to go out rabbit hunting, they’re probably going to have a lot of success,” Brown said.

But it’s not rabbit hunting season – until October.

Wildcare Foundation says if you’d like a rabbit for a pet, contact them or any rescue group for a “domestic” rabbit.