VANCOUVER -- Two rabbits in distress were discovered roaming through a Richmond neighbourhood, choking from what appeared to be homemade traps.

One was spotted mid-April, and the latest was found over the weekend with injuries described as “bulging eyes.”

Now animal rights groups are concerned more rabbits may be suffering.

“They are set in such a way that when the animal enters, the noose of course gets tighter and tighter,” said Lesley Fox, executive director of the animal rights group Fur-Bearers, describing the trap. “As the animal struggles, the objective of a snare is to strangle an animal to death.”

Setting traps within 200 metres of a home is illegal in British Columbia.

Conservation officers discovered snares placed outside a residential home in Richmond, by a man who was fed up with rabbits on his lawn.

“He was very co-operative. He’s an elderly, retired gentleman. We checked him on our system, he has no priors, no negative history with us,” said Sgt. Don Stahl of the B.C. Conservation Officer Service.

The man was given a warning, and told he would be charged if he did it again.

“There are other issues. You could catch house cats, right? Nobody wants their cat caught in a snare,” said Stahl.

The Fur-Bearers is urging anyone who sees other rabbits in distress or spots more traps to report them immediately.

“It is completely inappropriate to be using these types of devices,” said Fox.