Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Rabbits Keeping Their Paws Above Water

An Australian newspaper published an article about the recent rain that has saturated a parched land and raising water levels in Lake Keepit, near Tamworth in northwest NSW, Australia. Farmers are happy, but this colony of rabbits is stranded on an outcropping of rocks and sharing it with seagulls. A rescue attempt was unsuccessful since boats couldn't get in close enough due to the boulders just under the surface of the water. Both domesticated and cottontails can swim if it means life or death. These are European rabbits introduced to Australia. The most famous swimming rabbit is the Swamp Rabbit (Sylvilagus aquaticus), a large cottontail found in the southeastern USA. It's very well suited for swimming. In fact, it's the breed of rabbit that infamously chased former President Jimmy Carter in his boat several years ago. It's going to keep raining according to forecasters in Australia. The rabbits will eventually have to get their paws wet and swim for dryland. Photo credit: Peter Lorimer, The Daily Telegraph.