NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - Residents of a Brooklyn neighborhood are concerned over dozens of out of control rabbits.
As CBS2's Meg Baker reported, what looks to be your average block in Gowanus, has a not-so-hidden secret: more than 100 rabbits live in the backyard of a low-rise apartment building near 9th Street.
Neighbors say the rabbits have been there for over two years, just beyond a fence.
"The rabbits have been there for some time now, the owners have lived there for several years and I think the owners have been pretty obsessed with them," neighbor Luther said.
"It's very random, must be people that were raising them and decided to multiply. I never knew there were bunnies around here," Thomas Cucco said.
The rabbits can be seen from the street and even more lurk in the back garden.
Allie Feldman with NYCLASS, an animal advocate group, is looking into the situation.
"Our immediate concern is having 100 rabbits in a small, confined space may not be the best for the animals," she said.
She hopes there is a way to get these rabbits spayed and neutered fast.
"The last thing we want is to have a situation where we've got hundreds and hundreds of rabbits multiplying," Feldman said.
The caretaker and property owner refused to talk about the situation, but some neighbors voiced their concerns.
"I like them, but they do a lot of damage to the dirt," one neighbor said.
"I hope I'm not close enough for it to damage my apartment," neighbor Meredith McManus said. "Definitely better than rats, they're hopefully not going to invade my apartment."
In a comment, Mary Cotter with Rabbit Rescue says there is nothing cute, funny or fluffy about the situation; she calls it a tragedy.
The health department is looking into the situation, Baker reported, but for now the rabbits will remain behind the fence.
Legislation passed by City Council -- but not yet signed by the mayor -- bans the sale of rabbits. However, you are still permitted to adopt them from a shelter or a rescue.
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