‘Rabbit control’ goes awry on campus
FARGO, N.D. ” A 911 caller reported a gunman on the campus of North Dakota State University who turned out to be a university worker using a pellet gun to shoot rabbits, officials said.
A woman called 911 early Wednesday to report a “man pointing a rifle out of the window of his vehicle,” Fargo police Capt. Tod Dahle said.
Authorities searched for a suspect until they learned from school officials that the woman likely had seen a school maintenance worker.
Ray Boyer, director of the school’s police and safety department, said landscape employee Wayne Larson was just following orders in using a pellet gun to get rid of the rabbits, which destroy campus plants and crops.
Boyer said school officials have used the rabbit-control policy for years and had never received a complaint. The practice now will be halted, he said.
“We’re agriculture researchers and our ag research plots are very valuable to us,” university spokesman Dave Wahlberg said. “We know now that in today’s culture, that for an individual who doesn’t know what’s going on, the sight of somebody driving around the campus with a weapon can be alarming.”
The university now plans to use traps to deal with the rabbits.