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June/July 2011
• • • • • • Bunny news! Elliot’s antics Bunspace bunny visions Brightside rabbit rescue Life at the Do Hop Inn Poem – I stood beside your bed last night

Earless bunny sparks nuclear fears in Japan
10 June 2011 - Fresh fears over a nuclear leak at the tsunami-ravaged Fukushima plant have re-ignited after a rabbit born close to the facility was discovered with no ears. Locals have been left wondering whether this earless bunny, which was reportedly found near the facility at the end of last month, is the first sign of side effects from the nuclear catastrophe. A video of the bunny was posted on YouTube and has quickly spread as an internet viral, labelled the 'nuclear rabbit'. However according to the website NY Daily News, experts are sceptical as to whether radiation could be responsible for the bunny's lack of ears. While high doses of radiation can cause cancer and other major health problems, radiation experts believe the likelihood of the rabbit's strange features being a result of nuclear mutation is very slim. In 2008, a healthy rabbit was born without ears in the UK, aptly-named Van Gogh. While it is a rare occurrence, the deformity can happen because of a genetic defect or through the mother biting off the ears is she is distressed. Dana Krempels, from the US-based House Rabbit Society, told the NY Daily News: 'I have to wonder whether there are any other bunnies in the group that have anomalies like that. 'I didn't see any. And that would make me very hesitant to cry "radiation" just because one baby bunny is missing his external ear pinnae. However, rabbits' gestation periods are short - about 30 days - so if the bunny was born near Fukushima, this could be seen as an indication of radiation poisoning, as it would have been conceived well after the nuclear leak.

UK rabbit farms stopped
27 May 2011 – Farmers Guardian Plans to build two intensive rabbit farms in Nottinghamshire have been shelved by the owner. Farmer Philip Kerry, who owns T&S Nurseries in Grantham, submitted plans to build six barns across the country housing up to 1,000 rabbits in each. The plans were blasted by animal rights campaigners and the RSPCA said it had ‘serious concerns’ about the conditions for rabbits in battery farms, particularly the amount of space they were given. Mr Kerry told FG: “Due to public and media pressure we have decided to withdraw applications for caged rabbit farms while we reappraise the business model with our internal designers and various consultants.” People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) said they were thrilled with the result. “PETA supporters sent more than 1,600 letters of objection to Rushcliffe Borough Council opposing the applications for the facilities, which would have meant severe suffering for thousands of rabbits,” said spokeswoman Sandra Smiley. “The proposed farms would have been the first rabbit factory farms in the UK in 15 years and would each have housed up to 1,100 rabbits in wire cages stacked three high inside windowless barns. This kind of unnatural environment – which provides no fresh air or sunlight – can cause extremely painful bone disorders and foot inflammation and lead stressed animals to resort to neurotic, self-destructive behaviour.” Rushcliffe Borough Council confirmed the applications for the farms in Granby and East Bridgford had been withdrawn due to the size and positioning of the proposed buildings, and also the level of objection.

Elliot’s antics
by Maureen (Tasmania) It was never my intention to have seven rescue rabbits living in my house with my husband and myself but one rescue led to another, then another and before long I had seven sweet furry friends all in need of love and care... and I wouldn't have it any other way. Elliot (pictured above) is a bunny in a million. He loves being around humans and absolutely hates being around rabbits, which could have been a problem in a household with six other rescue buns. The problem was solved with Elliot talking us into letting him sleep in our bedroom, on the bed, each night and being carried around in a sling, far above the other buns, during the day. Then there is Tully who is by far our biggest bunny and an extremely curious boy, so one night when the bedroom door wasn't latched properly It didn't take him long to sneak his way in. I'm used to Elliot's small weight bouncing around the bed during the night, but when Tully's big body landed smack on my chest I thought I was being attack by an evil, sledge hammer wielding home invader. Of course I screamed like a big girl, scaring Elliot, who instantly disappeared behind the curtains, my poor husband jumped out of bed got tangled in the sheets and hit the floor hard. As for Tully he seemed completely oblivious to the chaos he'd caused as he calmly moved to the middle of the bed and began washing his face. You'd think that would be enough bunny drama for at least a week but no, the next day Elliot decided to live up to his Cranky Pants nickname. Bunnies can easily go into a type of shock and simply stop eating, within a very short time their organs start shutting down and they die. From previous experience I keep on hand feeding syringes and special bunny food to treat stubborn bunnies on a hunger strike. Unfortunately Elliot is a master at this and Tully's midnight visit seemed to have set off another bout of this upsetting condition. So the basic deal is to syringe food and water in one end and make sure it come out the other until they give it up and start eating themselves. With most buns this is time consuming but not difficult, they can't spit so they either swallow or choke and they always choose the swallow option... except Elliot.

Wrapped up like a bunny burrito I cradled him in my arms and syringed some pureed carrot into his mouth. He lay completely passive, relaxed his jaw and let gravity ooze the carrot out of his mouth and down his chest. Grabbing baby wipes I quickly mopped up the mess and tried again with fresh pureed blackberries, a favourite treat of his.This time he kept the mush in his mouth, glared at me and curled his upper lip every now and again as if so say "see, it's still there". As much as I love Elliot, right at that moment, a large bunny enema was looking really good. This went on for a full seven days, with him only eating enough to keep a mouse alive before he snapped out of his funk and started eating normally. During this time he glared at me every chance he could and even moved his usual sleeping position from between my ankles to between my husband's. He'd clearly decided me and the dreaded syringe were the enemy. A day or so after he had recovered I was getting ready to go to bed and I noticed Elliot was nestled on my side of the bed. I felt a warm glow that he was well and had apparently forgiven me for upsetting his dignity. Then I sat on the bed and my warm glow changed into something different...warm yes, but definitely not glowing and very wet. The little brat had peed right where I was about to sleep! Revenge rabbit style! Thankfully everything is back to normal now. The latch on the bedroom door has been fixed, Elliot is back happily sleeping between my ankles and the bed has stayed dry and clean. On a more serious note, if this ever happens to your own bunny please take them straight to the vet or they will die. I only treated Elliot at home because I knew exactly what to do and I spoke to my wonderful bunny vet every day

Rabbits everywhere!

Brightside Farm Sanctuary rabbit rescue Brightside Farm Sanctuary is set in the beautiful Huon Valley of Tasmania on 50 acres. Brightside has rescued and re homed over 500 farm and companion animals in the past 2 years as well as giving many animals a loving and safe home for life. Below are pictures from a small backyard rabbit farm in Tasmania that was closing down. For these bunnies it was a lucky day when Brightside Farm Sanctuary was passing by and saw a sign. The woman who ran this “rabbit farm” was moving and couldn’t take them with her and she wanted to get rid of them. The bunnies were picked up that day and transported to Brightside.

Several rabbits lived in each of these filthy dark wet creations

Each area was measured at roughly 1 foot x 2.5 foot where each rabbit lived in wet, muddy conditions separated by corrugated iron sheets

Does it ever happen to you that you see rabbits even when no real rabbit is around? Then please share your best encounters with Bunspace. This gallery is dedicated to rabbits everywhere... in the sky, at the bottom of a tea cup, hidden in autumn leaves, even on paper towels. Please don't stage anything to make it look like a rabbit, or copy pictures from other websites - just let your imagination inspire you. Email your bunny pics to

If anyone would like to donate to Brightside to help the bunnies, please visit their website –


Life at the Do Hop Inn
By Karen

Living with rabbits fortunately has more happy days than sad days but when something sad occurs and we lose a bunny, I have to remember that there are lots of other bunnies that still need lots of care and love and affection. This month we sadly lost two of our family members – Lily & Lulu. Lily was one of Lucky’s kids. He was such a sick little baby bunny but he was strong and happy even though he suffered from ongoing health issues. Sadly, he lost quite a bit of weight in a short amount of time and passed away quite suddenly. Lily was 6 and a half and leaves behind his brother Hugo, who adored him, his sister Ruby and his mother Lucky.

I Stood Beside Your Bed Last Night
I stood by your bed last night, I came to have a peep. I could see that you were crying, you found it hard to sleep. I touched you softly as you brushed away a tear. "Its me, I haven't left you, I'm well, I'm fine, I'm here" I was close to you at breakfast, I watched you pour the tea. You were thinking of the many times your hands reached down to me. I was with you at the shops today, your arms were getting sore. I want to take your parcels, I wished I could do more. I was with you at my grave today, you tend it with such care. I want to reassure you that I'm not lying there. I walked with you towards the house as you fumbled for the key, I gently put my paw on you, I smiled and said "It's me". You looked so very tired and then you sank into a chair, I tried so hard to let you know that I was standing there. Its possible for me to be so near you everyday, to say to you with certainty "I never went away". You sat there very quietly, then smiled, I think you knew

Since losing Lily - Lucky, Ruby & Hugo have now moved indoors with us permanently. They now have a really cute and warm apartment and seem to be really enjoying themselves. A little bit of happier news – we successfully bonded our latest family member, Jack (pictured left) with Kitty Catastrophe. It took quite a bit of time and patience, but they are now sharing a bedroom together and Nimal and I are enjoying Jack’s bunny 500 in the morning and Kitty hopping on the bed to say hello in the mornings.

That in the stillness of that evening I was very close to you. The day is over.... I smile and watch you yawning and say, " Good Night, Sweet Dreams, God Bless, I'll see you in the morning". And when the time is right for you to cross the brief divide I'll rush to greet you and we'll stand together side by side. I have so many things to show you, there's much for you to see. Be patient, live your journey out; then come home and be with me. ~Author Unknown

Now, I know that we’re not supposed to have favourites when it comes to furry fluffies, but when you spend so much time with one bunny, it can’t be helped. Lulu (pictured right) was a bunny with a very horrible past and lots of medical problems. Apart from her regular problems with scar tissue, we discovered a large mass in her chest back in February. Knowing she would not survive an operation to investigate the problem, we knew she had limited time. We wanted her to enjoy every moment and not suffer any pain. As Lulu slowly deteriorated, I spent more and more time with her. She heard all about my day and whatever I was up to. She was a good listener. Now that she has passed away, our house and my heart is a little bit emptier. I miss her special kisses as she told me she loved me too.

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