Dead rabbits found on local wind farm - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dead rabbits found on local wind farm

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DELAWARE COUNTY (KWWL) -

A local landowner found more than a dozen dead rabbits at the base of a wind turbine on his property.

A combination of white and black rabbits were scattered under the propellers of a wind turbine, just north of Greeley, Wednesday afternoon.  The property is owned by an area farmer and leased by RPM Access, a company with several wind farms in Iowa.

 A Delaware County Sheriff's Deputy at the scene told KWWL they believe the 15 rabbits were killed and purposefully placed underneath the wind turbine.

 "I don't understand who would do something like this? I really don't. The abundance of 15 bunnies laying on the ground like this under one turbine, it is pretty shocking," said Linda Slobodnik, an environmental consultant for RPM Access.

In more than 10 years in the wind energy industry, she says this is the most disgusting thing she has seen.

"Their necks were snapped, so I believe they were brought in," said Slobodnik. The rabbits were likely domestic by the cleanliness and color of their coats.

Slobodnik believes the rabbits were likely placed under the turbine to attract eagles and other birds into the path of the propellers.

"If eagles were attracted in, there was a higher possibility that they could be hit," said Slobodnik.

It's something Slobodnik's work centers around preventing, including picking-up road kill and monitoring wildlife in the area to keep animals safe.

"I think there is a lot of people who will speak against the wind turbines. I think a lot of what they do is out of ignorance," said RPM Access Project Manager, Kevin Lehs.

Both Lehs and Slobodnik believe this was done by someone who does not support wind energy.

"There are a lot of anti-wind people. At this time, we are looking at new places for projects, and I am thinking that possibly someone would like us to not build another wind farm in the area," said Slobodnik.

 RPM Access is currently looking to get approval for a wind farm in southern Black Hawk County. The first wind farm proposed in the county by another company was shot down several years ago.

The Delaware County Sheriff's Office will be increasing patrols in the Greeley area and asks anyone with information about the case to contact them.

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