Rabbit Toilets

CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) -- Researchers at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale are using a 200-thousand-dollar federal grant to build toilets for wild rabbits.

S-I-U wildlife researcher Clay Nielsen says it's part of a four-year study of the "swamp rabbit" population in southern Illinois. Turns out one of the best ways to track them is to locate and study what they leave behind.

Experts say swamp rabbits prefer to do their business on elevated, moss-covered logs, which are in short supply in the area. So researchers built 400 plywood boxes covered with carpeting to simulate mossy logs.

And it appears to be working. Graduate students have brought back pictures of fresh rabbit droppings collected by the contraptions.

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