Northeastern’s Boston campus has been overrun by a collection of young creatures, who follow strict vegetarian diets and prefer solitude rather than socializing—unless it’s mating season.
Yes, that’s right folks. No matter where you are on campus, you’re bound to spot rabbits making themselves comfortable in the shrubbery.
Cottontail rabbits breed from February through September and have only a 30-day gestation period, making summer the perfect time for city-dwellers to see an abundance of these furry creatures.
“I usually see a bunch frolicking around around the Behrakis Health Sciences Center,” said Lee Haggerty, a physical therapy student who was eating lunch with her friend Tavia Allen outside of Snell Library on Wednesday afternoon.
Allen said that she prefers rabbits over squirrels, which are “basically just rats.”
“I see them outside Willis Hall all the time,” said Allen, also a physical therapy student. “They’re so cute.”
Charles Doughty, director of landscape, grounds maintenance, and waste management at Northeastern, has noticed that the rabbit population has increased throughout the city. He said these furry rodents pose a threat to the plants on campus.
“They’re eating plants to the ground,” said Doughty, who plans to introduce new, “less appetizing” plants to the campus landscape.
Rabbits are also known to chew through electrical wiring, he added, but he’s yet to find any cable wires that have fallen victim to the rodents.
Doughty said that people should stop feeding the rabbits on campus. “They have plenty of food on campus already,” he said, “and if you bring in special rabbit pellets, you might be feeding another animal who wouldn’t normally eat that and wind up disrupting the habitat.”
Although the rabbit invasion is making his job more difficult, Doughty acknowledged that he likes spotting the creatures scurrying around campus. “Rabbits sure are cute, I enjoy them,” he said. “Students can walk around campus, see our landscape, and know that the rabbits are enjoying it as much as we are.”