Monday, January 7, 2013

When a Fur Coat Isn't Enough

In Japan they stage an event called "Rabbit Fashion Week."  Fortunately, it is not rabbit fur clothing for humans.  Rabbits are the stars in this event.  It includes, of course, an actual fashion show of lagomorph lovliness all dressed up for show. See one of the examples below (Photo credit Yoshikazo Tsuno)
Now a vet tech in Ohio has found her bunny dresses are very popular according to a recent article in the UK's Daily Mail. After she posted a photo on Reddit last week, "she was overwhelmed with people from all over the world asking her if she would make similar dresses for their rabbits." See example below:

What do these rabbits think of being dressed up?  I don't really want to thump on anyone's fun, but I'm not so sure about it.  Do I detect an annoyed or embarassed look on those rabbit faces above.  Domesticated rabbits have put up with all manner of behavior from humans over the centuries from completely nonsensical to unimaginable torture and cruelty.  Dressing up a bunny is certainly benign in light of their history in association with humans.  Also, I doubt it isn't overly stressful for them since "bunny dress up days" most likely happen only on special occasions. As prey animals most rabbits don't like anything resembling a grab from behind and even dominance behavior between themselves involves one rabbit over the other's back. (Most of these "clothes" fit over their backs.) On the other hand, the rabbits get a lot of attention dressed in their frocks and if the clothes aren't constricting movement, then probably no harm done.  My main issue with it is that it disregards the rabbitness of the rabbit. They are beautiful just as they are in their variety of natural fur coats.  However, there is no doubt I'd rather see people designing clothes for rabbits than making fashion accessories out of rabbits.  

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Owners Perish in Fire & 40 Rabbits Need Homes

As a result of a terrible tragedy, owners of 40 rabbits perished last week in a fire. The rabbits are located in Staunton, VA. The rabbits are being cared for by the Angels of Assisi and will be neuter/spayed if needed. The rabbits were found to be well cared for according to reports. If you'd like to adopt one of the rabbits or donate to Angels of Assisi call the rescue at 540-344-8707.

Manchester Bunnies Ready for Adoption

Kaitlin McNicholas,  with her mom, Robyn, holds New Jersey, a Lop Eared Rabbit at the Friends of the Manchester Animal Shelter on Friday. New Jersey was rescued with a group of 49 rabbits, temporarily named after states to keep track of them. Some of the rabbits are already available for adoption. (Photo Credit: Thomas Roy/Union Leader).

On the Wild Side: Amami Black Rabbit No Longer Endangered

An ebony color rabbit, the Amami Black rabbit in Japan has managed to survive and flourish.  The Amami Rabbit is indigenous and unique to Japan.  It lives on two islands Amami Oshima and Toku no Shima in southern Japan and has been removed from the endangered species list.  Most of it's natural habitat has been destroyed so the bunnies have been in decline. As you can see from the photo the Amami has shorter ears, but still has those big thumping hind legs like most lagomorphs.  The Amami rabbit is also known as the "Midnight Bunny." The behavior of the female Amami includes burying their kits to protect them from predators then returning at night to uncover and feed them. This behavior is shared by other female lagomorphs (including domesticated rabbits) who will normally cover their babies with at least their own fur (plus grasses/twigs if available) and feed once or twice at night. Unfortunately, the Amami rabbit it isn't as prolific as other rabbits and only breeds once or twice a year. However, it looks like its isolation on the Japanese islands has given this Midnight Bunny a chance to see brighter days.