The weather has been unusually hot and dry recently and seems to be responsible for a rabbit invasion in the area, which in turn is causing a great deal of annoyance among the locals.

Our neighbour Marie-Louise was banging on our door at 8 o’clock this morning. She seemed very, very flustered and certainly like a woman on a mission.

Nicola Harrington - guest blogger living in France with 7 holiday rental gites
Nicola Harrington

‘Do you have a rabbit trap I can use?’ she asked. ‘ The pesky rabbits have eaten EVERYTHING… absolutely everything… even the onion shoots!’

‘No, I don’t, sorry. Have you asked Daniel? He is bound to have one.’

‘Good idea’… and before I knew it, Marie-Louise was gone on her mission to find a rabbit trap.

This afternoon, I went to La Maison Crème to do some cleaning and have now just returned home. There is a small lane that runs behind both Marie-Louise’s house and La Maison Crème and at 7 pm I counted 13 rabbits, all quite happily just eating the grass on the verges. No fear at all, which is pretty unusual.

But this isn’t an isolated occasion: I have also heard that a farmer who lives on the other side of Reminiac is facing similar problems with foxes and wild boar. The animals are venturing outside the security of the forest and are encroaching on his land, destroying his crops by eating and trampling all over them. I wonder if this lack of fear has anything to do with the almost drought-like conditions we are experiencing at the moment. Have these wild animals run out of food?

Editor’s Note

Wild animals wandering into villages in search of food is becoming a common sight, and there’s a mix of reasons behind this growing phenomenon. First off, their natural habitats are shrinking. As humans push further into the wilderness, building homes, farms, and roads, animals are finding their traditional hunting and foraging grounds disappearing. Imagine you’re a rabbit or a fox, and the forest you once roamed freely is now half its size, with fewer berries, nuts, or smaller prey. You’re going to look for food elsewhere, right?

Then there’s the climate change angle. Unpredictable weather patterns, hotter temperatures, and altered landscapes can disrupt the availability of natural food sources for these animals. When the going gets tough, they adapt by seeking out easier pickings, which often leads them straight to human settlements where crops, livestock, and even rubbish present an easy meal.

It’s not just about hunger, though. Human activities often inadvertently attract wild animals. For example, improperly secured refuse bins or crops that are left unguarded can be irresistible to a hungry animal. It’s like leaving a biscuit tin open on the counter; someone’s going to sneak a biscuit!

This situation is complex and poses challenges for both wildlife and humans. Finding a balance that allows for coexistence is crucial, involving measures like securing food sources, creating wildlife corridors, and educating communities on how to live alongside these wild neighbours.

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