Jack rabbits attack walkers in Sonoma County, man bitten

The Associated Press
Saturday March 30, 2002

SANTA ROSA — Sonoma County musician Doug Bowes will remember this Easter season as the one where he happened upon the Easter Bunny, and it attacked him. 

Bowes was walking near his home at about 11 a.m. Wednesday when the attack occurred. A small, gray jack rabbit bounded toward him from a nearby fence. 

“I thought, ’Gosh, this is somebody’s pet,’ ” Bowes said. He put his hand down in a friendly gesture and the bunny lunged and bit him. 

Bowes began to walk home, nursing a sore hand with broken skin, but the rabbit followed him. A short time later, a nearby neighbor had to retreat up a hill after another aggressive jack rabbit forced her back. 

Bowes had to get rabies shots and faces five additional vaccinations, though area health officials say it would be rare if the animal had rabies. 

“If it were (rabid) it would make history,” said David Yong, director of laboratory services for the county public health division. No rabbit has tested positive for rabies in Sonoma County in the past 16 years, Yang said.