As if rush hour in Phoenix isn't miserable enough, about 8 this morning, the southbound State Route 51 was briefly closed by Department of Public Safety officers as they chased a wayward rabbit off the freeway.
That's right -- they shut down the highway to rescue a rabbit.
DPS spokesman Bart Graves didn't have a whole lot of information on the road closure, telling New Times "we had a report of a rabbit scurrying about the freeway nearly causing an accident on SR 51 as drivers swerved to avoid hitting it. We tried to locate the animal and get it off the road, but it apparently hopped off before we got there."
KPHO -- always "telling it like it is" -- got its hands on some video of the officers chasing the rabbit. The TV news station hammed it up on its website with the following headline: "DPS Officers Save Rabbit From Hare-Raising Experience" (wocka, wocka, wocka).
See some video of the rabbit below.
There's a lot of rabbits in the metro-Phoenix area -- most of which don't shut down a freeway by hopping across it. In many cases, when a rabbit hops in front of a car, the result is the same: splat! -- and everyone moves on.
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We recently were in a golf cart driven by a friend when a rabbit darted in front of us. With little time to avoid hitting the little guy, the (repulsive) picture below is the end result (the golf course didn't close down the cart path, and we've since made peace with it).