Bunny Blog

Pet Rabbits Save Family from Fire

Rabbit

Pet rabbits save Tucson family.

Two pet rabbits alerted their owners to a kitchen fire one night in Tucson. Nicole Ochotorena, her husband, and their three children were all asleep when the fire broke out. The rabbits stomped their feet in their cage, waking the owners up. The smoke alarms did not go off.

“My bunnies are my lifesavers,” Ochotorena said. “They saved my life and they saved my kids.”

Learn more at myfoxchicago.com.

House Rabbit Society’s Commemorative Book

hrsbookTo celebrate 25 years of rabbit rescue, the House Rabbit Society has published a commemorative book by HRS President Margo DeMello.

The book features full-color photos from the House Rabbit Society’s history, and focuses on their volunteers and the rabbits they’ve rescued. All proceeds from the book will go towards funding the HRS Emergency Rescue Fund.

Purchase the book at Blurb.com.

It’s International Rabbit Day!

Cosette and Coco

International Rabbit Day is a great opportunity to appreciate the joy that rabbits bring to our lives. Take the time to celebrate the rabbits in your life and find ways you can support rabbit welfare worldwide.

There are many rabbit welfare organizations you can support through fostering, volunteering, and donations. Find a local rescue or shelter here, or if there aren’t any organizations nearby, you can donate to the House Rabbit Society headquarters.

How will you celebrate bunnies today?

The Multifaceted House Rabbit

Living with house rabbits over the years has shown me that rabbits are full of surprises.

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They can be clumsy and clunky at times. In fact, often, their jumps off the coffee table remind me of this:

Corgi flop
(via Imgur)

But then they go on to exhibit feats of acrobatic brilliance.  Their binkies and Bunny 500s, with their exuberant choreography, are thrilling to watch.

bunnyproof4They can be extremely cautious and timid, tiptoeing and bowing their heads as they slowly inch forward to investigate a new sight or smell. Yet there are times of sheer audacity when they balance precariously on an unstable stack of boxes or the back of the couch.

Sometimes they make their presence known with thunderous gnawing on their cardboard castles and wooden toys, uncannily timing it for when you’re in the middle of an important phone call.

And yet, they have their moments of ninja-like skill. You go to toss something in the trash can and realize your rabbits are flopped by your feet.  How long have they been there? you wonder. Minutes? Hours?

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Contrasts like these are well-known to bunny people, and they’re a large part of why we love them!

Global Warming and the Snowshoe Hare

This snowshoe hare is a like a sitting duck for predators. Credit: L.S. Mills Research Photo

This snowshoe hare mismatched to its environment is a like a sitting duck for predators. Credit: L.S. Mills Research Photo

Unfortunately for the snowshoe hare, global warming is making it an easy target for predators.

In recent years, snowshoe hares have spent an increasing amount of time mismatched to their surroundings — either donning a white coat amidst a brown/green environment or a brown coat amidst a snowy white environment.

The saddest part about it is that the hares don’t realize they’re mismatched. They stay still, out in the open, assuming that their camouflage will keep them safe.

The hares moult their brown or white coats in the fall or spring in response to light. According to Alex Kumar, a graduate student at the University of Montana who is studying this phenomenon in Missoula, Montana: “If the hares are consistently molting at the same time, year after year, and the snowfall comes later and melts earlier, there’s going to be more and more times when hares are mismatched.”

The big question for the snowshoe hare is whether it can adapt to climate change before going extinct.

For more info see: NPR.

Baby Bunnies at the House Rabbit Society

On September 5, the House Rabbit Society volunteers found two containers of bunnies that someone had dumped on their doorstep. Eight of the seventeen rabbits were babies. Here’s a video of them:

To help HRS care for these and other needy rabbits, please visit their web site and consider donating: www.rabbit.org.

Why Do Rabbits Have White Tails?

Brown rabbit

Unfortunately for Cosette, her natural brown coloring does nothing to camouflage her here.

Wild rabbits are well concealed in the brush by their brown coloring. But one thing gives them away – that flash of white from their tails as they’re bounding away. So why did rabbits evolve to have a white tail, and not a brown one? (Or a green one?)

Evolutionary biologist Dirk Semmann of the University of Göttingen in Germany thinks he knows the answer. Semmann believes the obvious, white coloring actually distracts and confuses predators as the rabbit darts back and forth. A predator focuses on the white tail during the chase, and then when the rabbit turns, the white disappears. It takes a second for the predator to regain focus on the rabbit after every sharp turn… and these seconds can add up to enough time for the rabbit to escape.

According to Semmann, “The idea first appeared when I was running,” says Semmann. “I met this rabbit; it was always running and turning at some point. That got me thinking about the problem.”

To test his theory, Semmann used a video game on a group of people which involved either a flashing, bright circle (the white tail) or a non-flashing circle that blended with the background. The presence of the flashing circle reduced the participants’ ability to “catch” it.

Learn more on Nature.com.

More Public Art Bunnies!

Brisbane Festival artistic director Noel Staunton and artist Stormie Mills are dwarfed by the giant bunny sculpture that will be installed in Brisbane. Photo credit: Vicki Winter / Brisbane Times.

Brisbane Festival artistic director Noel Staunton and artist Stormie Mills are dwarfed by the giant bunny sculpture that will be installed in Brisbane.
Photo credit: Vicki Winter / Brisbane Times.

In addition to the tiny rabbit sculptures invading cities near you, now there’s another kind of art bunny to look out for. These 4-meter high, bubblegum-pink rabbit sculptures are taking over the city of Brisbane in Australia as part of the Brisbane Festival, September 9-28.

The large bright pink bunnies are the vision of street artist Stormie Mills. Cast out of polyurethane, the outer pieces are supported by a steel internal frame and plastic subframe.

Said Mills, “It’s like a vinyl toy in a sense, but a bit tougher and certainly a whole lot larger. The last step is that somebody goes in and tightens everything up from the inside, crawls back out the bunny’s bum and we glue the tail on.”

Learn more: Brisbane Times