PHOTO: Photo: screenshot / Newsroom
Then you realise those hills are moving.
WE DON’T ROAST OUR BEANS UNTIL WE HAVE YOUR ORDER
“I think you’ve got to see it to believe it,” says Melanie Reid, “because you always hear like the ‘wave of rabbits’ or ‘the hillside moving’, but when you stand there and it’s actually happening in front of your eyes it’s quite hard to comprehend. It’s quite hard to believe. And we’re back there again.”
Reid is the editor of Newsroom Investigates, and is rolling out a series on the plague of rabbits hitting not just Otago, but swathes of small towns in the South Island and some in the North Island too.
“They’re like these giant mowing machines,” she tells The Detail today.
Seven rabbits eat as much grass as one sheep.
“What they do is they eat all the grass, and then they live underneath. So they decimate it on top and below. The best way to explain it, is that it becomes like a honeycomb. And that’s what they talk about when people fall … they walk along and they go down to their knees, or their tractors go down and they sink. And they actually change the PH of the soil. So not only do they eat all the grass, but what I think is underestimated, is how long it takes for that land to recover.”
It means dry areas like Central Otago risk being turned into dust bowls.
READ MORE VIA RNZ
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