GRAPHIC PHOTO WARNING: There is an unedited photo of the injured rabbit below that some will find upsetting.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) – Wildlife officials in Colorado Springs confirmed a rabbit found with an arrow through its body has been euthanized.
“It was obviously suffering and had no hope of recovery,” Bill Vogrin with Colorado Parks and Wildlife told our partners at KKTV.
KKTV reported that Joe Mudd found the injured rabbit in his front yard in the Pine Creek area on Tuesday.
Mudd said he was on the phone with his wife when he looked outside and saw the injured animal.
“I stopped myself mid-sentence and said, ‘Honey, I can’t believe what I’m looking at,'” Mudd told KKTV. “I saw a rabbit with an arrow; that arrow must’ve been 2-and-a-half feet long. It was sticking through its face and out its shoulder.”
Mudd said the animal was “walking around like it was no big deal.”
Mudd contacted Colorado Parks and Wildlife and was advised to put the rabbit in a box and bring it to their office.
However, once wildlife officials saw the rabbit, they knew it should be put down.
“We recommend euthanasia for any animal that is suffering and will likely not survive or recover on its own,” Vogrin said.
Officials now investigating how and why the rabbit ended up with an arrow in its body.
“If someone shot it for sport, there might be a case for harassment or animal cruelty. Or it could be an illegal take, as it is out of season,” Vogrin said.
However, Vogrin said there are some instances where it would not be considered a crime.
“Rabbits are classified on the list of nuisance species. If it was on private property and causing damage, there are regulations in place that a landowner can utilize to legally take it.”