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Furry wreckers strike at cemetery

PUBLISHED: 13:54 27 August 2001 | UPDATED: 10:28 03 March 2010

AN unusual vandal has been upsetting families of those buried at an Ipswich cemetery by causing havoc.

Rabbits have been eating the fresh flowers and damaging the grave sides which are lovingly tended by relatives and friends.

AN unusual vandal has been upsetting families of those buried at an Ipswich cemetery by causing havoc.

Rabbits have been eating the fresh flowers and damaging the grave sides which are lovingly tended by relatives and friends.

When Tom Alcock went to visit his father's grave at the Millennium cemetery in Tuddenham Road he was appalled by the state it had been left in with flowers strewn everywhere and wreaths left with only the sponge as proof they had been there.

Mr Alcock, of who lives in the Chantry area, said: "At first I thought it was vandals but soon I was told by someone else tending a grave that it was rabbits and that the cemetery has a real problem with them.

"I think people should know about this because if they go up and see the mess they will think that somebody has deliberately damaged the grave and that is awful."

The rabbits seem to only eat the fresh flowers which means that people who have only recently buried a loved one could be greeted with a scene of devastation.

It seems the rabbits have been tunnelling under the grave stones as well and so causing further damage.

"I only noticed afterwards that many of the older graves have artificial flowers on them which the rabbits obviously will not eat," added Mr Alcock.

"It may seem like a minor problem but a lot of people do not realise what is going on and they will be left with the thought that some one has deliberately done this."

Ipswich Borough Council is aware of this growing problem and is now taking action so that no one else has to suffer.

A spokesman from the council said: "We are fully aware of the problem and we now have an exterminator who will be assessing the problem and taking action soon.

"He has been in consultation with the cemetery about the best way forward and so now we can start to get the problem under control.

"We will also be improving the rabbit proof fencing and putting a gate up in the garden of rest as so far they have had free access to this part of the grounds.

"We are aware of the distress this may cause families and want to get it sorted out as soon as possible."

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