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2017 | Volunteers Await Return

EST - 1966

2017 | Volunteers Await Return

EST - 1966

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Volunteers Await Return: Bunny Park's Gates Closed During Revamp

In a tale of transformation and tribulation, the bustling Benoni Bunny Park embarks on a period of refurbishment with a poignant pause for our devoted volunteers. Their dedication remains unwavering, yet they find themselves on the outskirts, gazing through fences, their hearts intertwined with the welfare of the park’s whiskered inhabitants.

The Lock and the Loyal

Tania Forrest-Smith, a beacon of benevolence and founder of the Save the Bunny Park Animals group, encountered an unexpected barrier on an otherwise familiar path. On June 12, she arrived to nourish the animals, only to be greeted by new locks barring her passage—symbols of the hiatus imposed on the volunteers’ heartfelt endeavors.

Metro's Mandate: Safety Surmounts Access

Metro spokesperson Themba Gadebe voiced the stark reality: the haven that was once teeming with tenderness and volunteer vigilance is now a bastion under transformation. The Bunny Park is draped in the garb of a construction site where safety protocols reign supreme. Only the hands of veterinarians, SPCA officials, and the city’s employees shall tend to the park, leaving our volunteers with their goodwill gated.

The Enigma of Exclusion

Questions quiver in the quiescent air: Why now are the stewards of care denied entry when once they roamed freely among the romping rabbits? The metro’s silence on June 15 leaves wonderings unanswered, the future uncertain. The end of Phase Two of the rejuvenation is set for June 30, next year—but will there be a Phase Three, or shall the gates swing wide once again?

A Letter Lost in the Labyrinth

Forrest-Smith’s penned plea to the metro went unheeded, her inquiries echoing into the expanse. As the volunteers stand masked by the construction’s shadow, she asks, “Why was this not a problem before?” The bunnies, those fuzzy symbols of innocence, and a few feathered friends remain in the park—all others have been relocated.

A Mingling of Mange and Medicine

A disheartening discovery amidst revival efforts: bunnies battling mange being sterilized alongside their hale counterparts. Gadebe assures that two appointed veterinarians are safeguarding the bunnies’ fate—euthanizing the ailing, sterilizing the robust, and offering the latter to eager arms. Yet, the specter of unaddressed affliction persists—Forrest-Smith contends that not all bunnies receive their daily due.

Adoptions Adrift in Ambiguity

The tradition of adoptions, once a vibrant facet of the park’s community, flounders in the wake of volunteer exclusion. Forrest-Smith beholds a broiling desperation, turning away those who wish to embrace a bunny into their homes. Despite Gadebe’s assurances that adoptions can still flow through the metro, the process feels fragmented, the seamless cycle of compassion disrupted.

The Proffered Path Forward

With hope as their harbinger, the volunteers vow to continue their vigil, nourishing the park’s bunnies however they can. Even as the gates remain locked, the spirit of giving knows no borders; donations hover at the ready, entrusted to the caretaker’s hands. Gadebe extends an invitation: An adoption form awaits those willing to open their homes and hearts, bridging the gap until the park’s new dawn.

As construction crafts a new horizon for the Benoni Bunny Park, the volunteers hold a quiet watch, their commitment unwavering as they count the days until their return to the furry friends they cherish so deeply.

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