Saturday, April 22, 2006

Bunny Gone Wild

A few weeks ago I stepped outside early in the morning to see a giant caramel-coloured bunny underneath the bird feeders. I thought I was seeing things. It galumphed away.

Next morning I saw a cottontail under the feeders, as I had so many mornings through the winter. So all was right with the world--whatever that monster bunny was, it had turned back into a cottontail.

Then yesterday evening I was walking down towards the cedar bush, when I heard some kind of cafuffle, and saw branches of a small pine being shoved. A deer brushing past? A bear feeding back there? As I got closer a cottontail rabbit took off and raced into the bush, then stopped. Maybe there was a nest by the pine....then the caramel giant came into view, following the cottontail.

In among the raspberry canes.

Some kind of altercation? Or, could it be extra-specific love? The caramel bunny was 3 or 4 times the size of the cottontail, either possiblity was somewhat disturbing.

Domestic rabbits go walkabout around here now and then, but they usually hang around yards, and then not for long before they disappear. I guess that's what this critter is--but such an odd-looking sight in the bush, and clearly a survivor to have lasted even this long.

Altogether a rather odd-looking rabbit.

I interrupted whatever was going on pretty thoroughly. The cottontail took off, and the caramel bunny started back the other way again, ambling slowly, aware of me, but not terribly alarmed, snacking, moving on, snacking again.

Ambling, snacking, ignoring me, casual like

Walking along the ATV trail, before the bunny event, I saw an enormous coyote scat composed entirely of hair, suggesting an animal working the fields that would happily take on a giant galumphing caramel bunny.

Big scat, big coyote?

5 comments:

LauraHinNJ said...

I don't think that domestic rabbit is on walkabout willingly ;-(

People tire of them and turn them loose.

Pamela Martin said...

I hadn't thought of it being an abandoned/dropped-off pet. I'd assumed it was a farmyard bunny that ran away. But you're probably right--from the size and appearance (fat) it may well have been a one-time overindulged pet that got tossed out. Hard to understand people treating pets that way--but we do see cats and dogs dropped off with some frequency around here.

bev said...

When I saw your photo of the rabbit with what looks like a black face and ears, I thought, "Hmm... that looks a lot like one of the markings you see in Rex rabbits." Here's a website with a couple of rabbits with the kind of markings I'm referring to:
http://www.dandelionrabbitstud.com/rabbits.html#rex
Rex also have a smooth, plush-like coat, which your rabbit appears as though it might have.
Coincidentally, a friend sent me this link to a rabbit story last night:
Monster Rabbit Stalks U.K. Village (But No Sign of Wallace or Gromit)
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/04/0411_060411_rabbit.html

bev said...

Hi Pamela,
I tried to post this a couple of hours ago and it didn't seem to go through. Here's a second attempt - I hope it doesn't end up in duplicate!
---
When I saw your photo of the rabbit with what looks like a black face and ears, I thought, "Hmm... that looks a lot like one of the markings you see in Rex rabbits." Here's a website with a couple of rabbits with the kind of markings I'm referring to:
http://www.dandelionrabbitstud.com/rabbits.html#rex
Rex also have a smooth, plush-like coat, which your rabbit appears as though it might have.
Coincidentally, a friend sent me this link to a rabbit story last night:
Monster Rabbit Stalks U.K. Village (But No Sign of Wallace or Gromit)
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/04/0411_060411_rabbit.html

Pamela Martin said...

Hi Bev:

Thanks for the links--the black markings on the face and around the back end (don't show in the rear end photo unfortunately) are striking features of the rabbit as is the very plush coat, and the long fur on the front legs make it look most un-rabbit-like when it reaches up with them--both features of the rex from the site you give and some others. Good to know it's got an identity of a sort. Big too--but so far not terrorizing a vegetable plot, but that may come if it survives for a couple more months!

Your comment did post twice--I had the same problem when I posted the first comment I left on this post. I tried again hours later and both showed up. Cyber mystery....