||Eleven months old|
||Monroe, North Carolina, USA|
is a Belgian Hare, a type of fancy rabbit also known as the poor man's
racehorse. They don't race but they were originally breed to be sleek,
athletic animals resembling wild hares. The breed was popular for a long time
and is largely responsible for starting the rabbit pet trade and hobby here
in the USA. They fell out of favor when people tried to turn them into meat
rabbits (altering their body structure, shape and temperament). Now they are
pretty hard to find at least here in the USA and are considered threatened by
the Livestock Conservancy. They were initially created in Belgium but
perfected in England before booming in popularity around the world. They are
also closely related to Flemish Giants (or so I've been told). I think last
time I checked she was eight pounds. So about the size of a medium/average cat. I
think they can get a little bigger than that but not by much. That cat in the
picture was about five months old at the time, it was almost fully grown but not
completely. Hares are sleek, athletic, very active (and can wolf down
surprising amounts of food for a rabbit) and highly intelligent! They also
are considered on the large side of rabbits.
I got Gretel this past November (as a birthday present for myself) after
searching three years for a Belgian Hare. I finally found one at a rabbit show at
the State Fair and despite how hectic life was at the time, I decided to go
ahead and get her as I knew I likely wouldn't have the chance again.
I have fostered many different kinds of animals (including many rabbits of
various breeds) and worked in a zoo but she certainly gave me a run for my
money when I first got her. I would find her in my bathroom sink, on top of
the dog kennel, in my bed, chasing the cats around etc. She requires a lot of
space and can jump over any play pen I get her (so I'm building my own hutch
and play pen). Hares also can't be on wire due to their fine/delicate bones
(not that I would keep any rabbit on wire anyway). She lives indoors but I do
take her outside to explore on a harness and leash. She also loves trips to
the pet store where she happily spends all my money.
She is not a rabbit for everyone but I adore her and Belgian Hares in
general! I love athletic, intelligent animals and she gets along very nicely
with all my various fosters that come and go, but most importantly, she gets
along with my other two babies: a Doberman and a Sphynx.
View more images of Gretel!
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