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Transportation Idle Science

Denver Airport Overrun by Car-Eating Rabbits 278

Posted by samzenpus
from the night-of-the-lepus dept.
It turns out the soy-based wire covering on cars built after 2002 is irresistible to rodents. Nobody knows this better than those unlucky enough to park at DIA's Pikes Peak lot. The rabbits surrounding the area have been using the lot as an all-you-can-eat wiring buffet. Looks like it's time to break out The Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch.

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Denver Airport Overrun by Car-Eating Rabbits

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  • by BlackSnake112 (912158) on Thursday October 14, 2010 @12:31PM (#33895998)

    If you let them chew on a cable or wire with a little but of current running through it, the rabbit usually stops chewing on wires. Our family had rabbits as pets for a while. One of them liked to chew wires. He chewed the lamp wires. After the shock, he stopped chewing on the wires. The rabbit was alive (he lived another 9 years). His whiskers were a bit singed and shorter. We did have to replace every lamp cord he got to.

  • by Kenshin (43036) <kenshinNO@SPAMlunarworks.ca> on Thursday October 14, 2010 @12:41PM (#33896242) Homepage

    Furthermore, one of them once got behind the fridge and chewed through its power cable. There was a loud bang, and a bright flash... and the rabbit was 100% fine. (Plus, it seemed rather unconcerned.)

    I swear, those things are impervious to electricity.

  • by smellsofbikes (890263) on Thursday October 14, 2010 @12:53PM (#33896480) Journal

    If you let them chew on a cable or wire with a little but of current running through it, the rabbit usually stops chewing on wires. Our family had rabbits as pets for a while. One of them liked to chew wires. He chewed the lamp wires. After the shock, he stopped chewing on the wires. The rabbit was alive (he lived another 9 years). His whiskers were a bit singed and shorter. We did have to replace every lamp cord he got to.

    I've had a different experience. My aunt's rabbit chewed through her refrigerator power cable twice, and one of my rabbits, before she was no longer allowed to roam the house, chewed every cable off the back of a computer (all low-current save the power cable) on two occasions. Thing is: if the appliance isn't drawing power right then, they can chew through with impunity, and even if it *is* drawing power, as long as they only chew through one wire at a time they'll just get a quick shock when they cut that wire. And given how dry a rabbit's mouth is, and that it's cutting through with its non-conductive teeth, they might not even notice. This particular rabbit is smart enough to know the meaning of the word "no" and run over to me when I call her name (which my other rabbit is either too stupid or too uninterested in humans to do) so it's not like she's too dumb to learn about getting shocked. I think she just didn't care or didn't notice, or that she didn't get shocked, since she continued chewing on cords subsequently. Wrapping the cables in split looming that had been sprayed with cayenne pepper did discourage them.

    Even weirder, I had a squirrel nest in my workshop wall, and when I realized it and evicted them, I tore off the siding to see what damage they'd done. They'd stripped all the outer insulation off the romex in the walls, eaten all the paper that lines the bare ground wire, and eaten all the insulation off the white return line, but the black live line only had a few nicks in the insulation, so either the black vinyl doesn't taste good or squirrels are smarter than rabbits. Of course, they had to live in physical contact with the wires, while the rabbits were just chewing on them occasionally. But with that said, I'm betting squirrels are smarter than rabbits.

    As for the article itself, it's not just the DIA parking lot. My girlfriend's work car, a PT Cruiser, had most of the engine wiring eaten by rats while sitting overnight at her workplace in downtown Denver, while they completely ignored her (pre-2002) Subaru. It was startlingly expensive to get that car rewired, and apparently it was by no means just the spark plug wiring.

  • by davidbrit2 (775091) on Thursday October 14, 2010 @01:44PM (#33897454) Homepage

    My stepdaughter had a pet rabbit (horrible pets, btw)...

    I wouldn't go that far. They are horrible pets for children, simply because of stark personality incompatibilities, but I have two rabbits that are both extremely friendly. A lot of people think they're just getting a cat with long ears, when in fact the differences are much deeper. Rabbits are definitely higher maintenance, as they tend to be somewhat messy, and can develop destructive habits (digging, chewing) if not supervised closely and kept away from hazards. And while rabbits are often quite friendly and playful, they are definitely not cuddly. My rabbits love to come over and get a head rub, and socialize with the cats just fine, but try to pick them up and carry them around, and they'll just get pissed off. If these details don't bother you, then a rabbit can make a very good pet. If you weren't expecting this, then you'll probably end up like the people from whom I just got my second rabbit.

    On the plus side, they're cheap to feed. Hay, fresh greens, and pellets cost very little compared to food made for carnivores like cats and dogs. I'm still surprised whenever I get a huge bag of bulk pellets and it costs less than $2, and a large bale of hay can last months.

  • by KshGoddess (454304) <`kshgoddess' `at' `gmail.com'> on Thursday October 14, 2010 @02:41PM (#33898344) Homepage Journal

    Yes. [bassequipment.com]

    I can't believe this would work for your car engine while you park it, nor would I think that most people want to add several pounds of galvanized wire to the underside of their cars.

  • by demonlapin (527802) on Thursday October 14, 2010 @06:03PM (#33901286) Homepage Journal
    If your pet's drinking antifreeze out of my driveway, you're violating the leash laws. Keep your pet under control and off my property.
  • by minorproblem (891991) on Thursday October 14, 2010 @06:56PM (#33901932)

    And this is why when we design substations most clients specify steel or brass wire Armour. If you leave a wire sitting there for long enough, something will try and chew through it. We actually had to stop installing Steel wire Armour cables laced with Peppers as they where causing OH&S issues. The cables in Questions weigh about 80kg per meter and so the blokes who where working on them would get quite sweaty while them and their apprentices held them in place and prepared them for termination. And then when they went to wipe the sweat off there face half way through preparing the cable for termination they would get pepper in their eyes. There are some nasty little critters for eating cable in the desert of Western Australia. These days if its an area known for having really bad termite problems, we will go for double brass Armour.

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