Rabbits overrun Mandela's former prison

October 15, 2008 8:13:21 AM PDT
South African authorities are closing Robben Island for two weeks in November to try to get rid of thousands of rabbits that have overrun the windswept island where Nelson Mandela spent so many years in prison.

South Africa's former president was imprisoned on Robben Island for 18 years and it's one of the country's most famous tourist sites.

Robben Island Museum interim chief executive Seeland Naidoo says there is no alternative but to implement a "humane culling program" in conjunction with local animal welfare groups.

He says there are so many rabbits they threaten to permanently damage the island's sensitive vegetation and its historical buildings.