Timaru’s facing a rabbit problem.
The population has boomed over the past five years, and they’re beginning to ruin local parks and reserves.
Over the past week, the Timaru District Council has contracted a local pest specialist company to use new thermal technology firearms in a bid to control the numbers.
Khan Adam from High Country Contractors says it’s a well-known tool in the hunting and pest control industry.
“You don’t have to have lights, it’s all hand-held thermal equipment that identifies heat signature,” he said.
Bill Steans, the council’s Parks and Recreational Manager, says thermal technology firearms are more effective as you can clearly identify the target and remove carcasses on the spot.
The cull programme has been developed alongside local police who’re satisfied robust safety measures are in place.
High Country contractors call the police when operations start at 9pm to log a job and explain their movements for the night.
At least 200 rabbits were shot across four nights.
The council plans to undertake similar culls annually to keep on top of its rabbit problem.