Pet of the Day

June 12, 2003

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Mr. Funny Bunny, the Pet of the Day
Name: Mr. Funny Bunny
Age: Six months old
Gender: Male
Kind: Wild Hare
Home: Mayodan, North Carolina, USA
   We've had Mr. Funny Bunny since he was about three weeks old. He jumped on my husband's shoe while he was mowing the yard... he just sat there looking up, so hubby picked him up after a while, and we took him inside. He was so small, we were afraid he would get killed by the cat (as one of his brothers was killed) or by the lawn mower. He has adapted surprisingly well to captivity. He will eat treats out of our hands, and allow us to pat him between his ears. His daily routine is to wake us up jingling his bells (they hang from the ceiling on the 2nd floor of his cage). He rings the bell whenever he wants something (treats and attention!)

    First thing in the morning I go outside and gather a "salad" for Mr. Bunny from the yard, consisting of dandelions, clover, strawberry plants, grass, flowers (he loves rose blossoms especially), etc. In the winter he eats fresh veggies from the grocery store. He also eats rabbit food, but considers that more of a snack. In the evenings I go through the same salad-gathering ritual, then before bed he enjoys bird treats and a piece of banana. He is very healthy, and eating is his favorite pastime.

    He amuses himself by playing with cat toys. He has a ball with a jingle bell inside it that he especially loves. He loves his new two story house, complete with "staircase", and enjoys running up and down the ramp frequently. He enjoys flopping down upstairs and stretching his legs out behind him.

    Mr. Bunny is very sensitive to any changes in his environment. He has his own room and we don't allow the other animals inside. He gets quite traumatized if you remove the mirrors from behind his cage, or if you move his cage temporarily to clean it. He gets upset if his routine changes.

    We learned a lot about wild rabbits from taking care of him, and there is a world of difference between him and tame rabbits. Fortunately, we must be doing something right. However, I would not recommend that you keep a bunny found in the wild unless you are willing to spend the time taking care of it. Also, even though you might think a baby rabbit has been abandoned because you don't see the mother, in actuality it is probably well taken care of. Wild mothers only feed their babies very early in the morning and spend the rest of the day away from the nest.

    I am glad we have been successful with Mr. Bunny ... but wild rabbits are not for everyone. There would have been a lot of heartbreak if he hadn't survived and flourished, and a lot of guilt for taking him out of his natural environment. Mr. Funny Bunny has an incredible personality, and we still can't believe he's growing, thriving and happy after all this time! This bunny is spoiled rotten, and he's not afraid to show it!

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