Top five fictional rabbits

In today’s Harvard Crimson, writer Rachel A. Burns lists the top five bunnies in popular culture. Can you guess who made the Top 5 list?

 5.  Thumper from “Bambi”
Despite its tearful beginning, “Bambi” was one of my favorite childhood movies. In my opinion, Thumper upstages Bambi in pretty much any scene they share.

4. The rabbit in “Goodnight Moon”
This book should not need explanation. It has been a bedtime story for countless children, and at its center is a baby rabbit trying to go to sleep.

3. The killer rabbit from “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”
Not all rabbits are as sweet and innocent as the one falling asleep in “Goodnight Moon.” This particular rabbit eats unsuspecting travelers alive. (Note: If you’ve never seen the movie, check out the clip below to see the “vicious” rabbit for yourself)

2. Harvey from “Harvey”

If you can’t see a rabbit, does it exist? Directed by Henry Koster and starring Jimmy Stewart, “Harvey” is the story of a man named Elwood P. Dowd, who claims to have a six-foot-tall, invisible rabbit friend.

1. Fiver from “Watership Down”
There are enough rabbits in Richard Adams’ classic tale to warrant a separate list. There’s the leader of the group of runaway rabbits, Hazel, the rabbit-god Frith, and the Grim Reaper rabbit, the Black Rabbit of Inlé, to name only a few. But Fiver, the neurotic and somewhat psychic runt of the group, has always been my favorite.

Rachel A. Burns is the outgoing Books Editor. Because her initials are RAB, she has always felt an affinity for rabbits. Also, she stole the horcrux.


Companion animals are banned in many apartments in Nagoya, Japan. As a result, pet-themed cafés that allow patrons to eat, drink, and interact with animals, have become popular. 

The cafés are usually cat-themed, but the Usagi-to-Café is All About Rabbits: 18 resident bunnies are available, in a separate room, for patron interaction.

The café charges 900 yen, or about $11, for 30 minutes inside the café (includes one drink). There is also a fee of about $1 per minute to cuddle bunnies. People may “BYOB” (Bring Your Own Bunny”) which is promoted as a way to “socialize” bunnies.

For about $35 per person, the café offers a 2-hour special that includes one drink, a “random salad”, rabbit pizza (and I do hope they mean rabbit-shaped pizza…), rice and dessert.

Personally, I’m skeptical about any benefit that rabbits might get from “socialization.”  Especially if the bunnies are not spayed or neutered. In fact, I imagine it to be something like the bunny version of the old Wild West.

As most rabbit-savvy people know, the bonding process (introducing two bunnies to each other) is both an art and a science. And it rarely happens in 30 to 60 minutes.

My own bunnies would be unhappy about leaving their familiar surroundings, and being forced to see, much less, interact with other rabbits. 

“Hot and cold like the child dying” ?
The café Web site does emphasize that it is not responsible for fighting or “trouble.” It also warns against “mounting.” I don’t know if the café rabbits are spayed and neutered. It would be interesting to learn more.

If you read Japanese (or know someone who does), please check out the Web site and let us know what you find.

I tried to use Google’s language translator to find out more from the café Web site, however the results can be hit and miss, generating some nonsensical translations (see the photo/description below):

Name: Ramune
Gender: Female
Date of Birth: May 5, 2008
Type: Banifaraion

Feature: hot and cold like the child dying ♪


Do you think a Bunny café would do well in the U.S.? Would it be a good way to educate people about rabbits in an entertaining way? Let us know what you think!

Five bunnies in the U.K. saved from “bored” family

March Pet Shop wants Christmas homes for five rabbits after rescue last night
From the Cambs Times24

A RESCUED rabbit got a new home today after six were collected from Chatteris, a town in the district of Cambridgeshire, England, because the owners got bored with them.  

Caroline Bates, of Parson Drove, came into The Pet Shop, in March, this morning to pick up some supplies for her dogs, cats and rabbit, but left with festively named “Holly”.

Caroline Bates with Holly

She said: “I will take her home and put her in front of my pets and will introduce them to their new friend. In the summer, I will let all my pets go out in the garden together to have some fun.

“My husband daren’t take me to a rescue home as I normally want to take something home with me.”

Shop assistant Debbie Kowbass with one of the remaining bunnies

The Pet Shop manager Rob Phipps collected the six rabbits, all in good condition and aged between one and three, last night after the owner tried to rehome them, as RSPCA Block Fen Animal Centre was full. He said he would like to find new homes for the remaining five pets before Christmas.

Rob said: “They’re nice looking rabbits, I just can’t see them left on the street.

“The owner did the right thing and tried to get them rehomed but the other animal centres were full so we took them in.”

Shop assistant Debbie Kowbass said why they were the perfect pets: “They’re just so cute, absolutely gorgeous, and fluffy.”

From New Mexico HRS: Digital Buns

Digital Buns
With Bill Velasquez, New Mexico House Rabbit Society

Since 2007, Bill Velasquez has been involved with rabbit rescue, and in January 2010 he helped to launch the New Mexico House Rabbit Society. Recently, Bill began producing podcasts as an alternate way to educate people about house rabbits and their care. (Check out Bill’s podcasts at

Bill with Gracie in his hallway "studio" where Gracie lives with Bear bunny

“Like most people, I live a mobile life and I exclusively listen to podcasts in the car rather than the radio. It seemed only natural to bring the pages of to a mobile platform so people can learn about buns while they drive. This is how I get my news and hobby information on a daily basis.

As anyone involved in rabbit rescue knows there is a tremendous need for continuing education – for volunteers, foster homes, and adopters. Not everyone enjoys reading books, so podcasts can fill an important educational niche.”

Bill promotes his podcasts through Facebook and encourages new volunteers and adopters to tune for basic information.

Bill also plans to include interviews and information from other HRS chapters: “Send me your MP3 files and I will post them!” He would also like to include video podcasts to show, “buns and bun tune-ups.”

To see video presentations on topics such as disabled rabbit care, alternative medical therapies, dental care, bunny gardening, and game-playing with bunnies, visit San Diego HRS’s Vimeo page. The page is regularly updated with presentations from our Speaker Series.

Bunny drummin’

While my own bunnies will occasionally create their own cacophonous “symphony,” (almost always at 4:27 a.m.) with jar lids, empty oatmeal containers, rattles, boxes, etc. they’ve got nothing on the animated bunny starring in the movie, “Hop,” scheduled for release in April 2011.

Hop, the movie

Starring Russell Brand and James Marsden “Hop” is a blend of animation and live-action. What’s it all about? Fred (James Marsden), an unemployed slacker who accidentally injures the Easter Bunny (voiced by Brand). Fred takes in the bunny as he recovers, and as he struggles with his challenging houseguest, both learn what it takes to finally grow up.

Let’s hope this movie doesn’t prompt people to dash out and actually buy “Easter bunnies”….

The trailer features Brand’s bunny character jamming out on the drums to ‘Song 2′ by Blur and the tagline “Candy, Chicks and Rock n’ Roll.

‘Hop’ premieres Apr. 1, 2011 — just in time for Easter! Watch the trailer below.

Vegan Glam

If you’re a fashion-forward vegan, or someone who wants to support cruelty-free products, check out Urban Decay cosmetics, a vegan-friendly cosmetics company that uses insanely hip, fun, and irreverent packaging.

Vegan products include eyeshadows, eyeliners, make-up brushes, fake eyelashes, mineral make-up, nail polish, and lip products (the “Pocket Rocket” lip gloss is divine).

Urban Decay also talks the talk, and walks the walk, by taking a very public stance against animal testing:

Urban Decay is, and always has been, a cruelty-free company. You’ll notice that every box bears our cruelty-free credo: “We don’t do animal testing. How could anyone?” We insist on producing beautiful, irreverent, high-end cosmetics without conducting animal testing.

Products labeled with a pawprint are 100% Vegan.

One popular product is the eyeshadow palette, which even features a bunny on the package (Note: the company recently realized that the “potion primer” included with the palette is not 100% Vegan, so the pawprint has been removed. The eyeshadow itself is still 100% vegan).

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Palette (About $34)

Rabbit rescue responds to recipe in Washington Post

On October 27th, the Washington Post published a recipe for Rabbit Gumbo.

RabbitWise, a rescue group in the D.C. Metro area, submitted a response which was published in the Post today.

RabbitWise’s blog also mentions their response.

What do you think? Was their response effective? Do you think it would dissuade cooks from trying to prepare the recipe?

Caring, Confident Youth: Camp Fire Group Burrows In with the Bunnies

As many of you know, Long Beach City College has been dealing with a bunny-dumping situation for quite some time. It’s nice to know that they are getting such outstanding care and love from these kids. What a heartwarming article from the Long Beach Post! – Tamara

The Rabbit Population Management Task Force (RPMT) at Long Beach City College is getting some welcome assistance from the Waku Koda (Giving Friends) Camp Fire troop of Long Beach.

The troop’s community service group, Kiniya, is called on each year to come up with a service project, and the kids wanted to help out with the bunnies. A visit showed them to be having a heck of a lot of fun while they worked hard at changing litter boxes, cleaning cages, sweeping up floors, providing food and water, giving them treats (they like carrots, apples and basil, according to 10-year-old Abigail Rubin) and stroking their soft fur from the ears down to their little cottony tails.

Abigail Rubin doesn’t mind the work involved in rabbit care.

“You get to socialize with them,” said Mimi DaSilva, who is thinking of becoming a zoologist. “I like feeding the bunnies and cleaning the cages. It’s hard work, but it’s fun.”

The RPMT began as a task force to spay and neuter pet rabbits that were abandoned at the college and gave birth to countless bunnies who overran the campus.

LBCC employees Jacque Olson and Donna Pringle, with help from numerous bunny-loving volunteers and veterinary and medical services from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, trapped the domestic critters and had them spayed and neutered. Now, with 150 little long-eared creatures treated and adopted out, there are around 80 of them left waiting in the care of Olson, Pringle and a growing number of volunteers.

Last summer, Camp Fire mom Joanne Pon Rubin and her daughter Abigail discovered the project after hearing about it from the Unitarian Universalist church. With enthusiastic agreement from Abby, she decided that volunteer work at the RPMT by the 12 children in the Waku Koda group would be a worthy Kiniya.

Pon Rubin was impressed by the dedication and hard work of Olson, Pringle and the rest of the volunteers and by the condition of the rabbits and their environment: a large space filled with cages, playpens, and lots of donated clean hay, good food and water.

“We chose it because people here are completely devoted to dealing with these bunnies in a humane way, and we wanted to support that,” Pon Rubin said.

Mimi DaSilva takes bunny care seriously.

The RMPT project is humane and loving, providing unwanted rabbits with unarguably more care and caregivers than they’ve ever had. Volunteer Yuki is the bunny yenta; she pairs up rabbits who get along with each other. Volunteer Melinda has a list of names to fit the rabbits with. The entire volunteer staff makes certain that Oliver, Sparky, Elvis, Frank (for Sinatra), Lady Gaga and all the furry stablemates are fed, cleaned, played with and loved.

“And I take out the trash,” Pringle said. 

Daria Raby and Reese share a special moment.

The Camp Fire kids not only don’t consider caring for these rabbits as a chore but also express disapproval of people who do. The depth of their involvement was evident through their indignation over people who buy tiny bunnies for their families and then dump them when the rabbits get too big to be “cute” or don’t want to take the trouble to care for them.

“They should have thought before they got the bunny, because the bunny is suffering now,” Mimi said.

Indeed, Pringle said, rabbits who are dumped at the college do suffer. Besides being hunted and killed by natural predators, they’re at the mercy of wild rabbits. Wild male rabbits go alpha and maim or kill the domestic males, who have been found shuddering in fear and badly injured. The volunteers just took in eight bunnies who were covered with bites from other rabbits. One of them, Reese, had a leg missing, but when we walked into the bunny shelter, Reese had been neutered and was happily playing with Camp Fire volunteer Daria Raby.

Big John and Farina are a loving couple. John likes to snuggle under Farina, who mothers him.

Pringle and Olson are concerned about the ones they don’t find, however, since the program began and was publicized, rabbit dumping at the college appears to have tapered off.

“We still have a few, but it’s definitely decreased,” Pringle said. “Usually at Easter time, and then through the summer, it’s peak [dumping] times, but it’s been very quiet this year. And fewer baby bunnies are being born on campus, so that’s made a difference, too.”

Boots (male) and Peanut Butter Cup (female) make a sweet pair.

The RMPT will gladly accept donations and even more gladly will accept people who want to give rabbits forever homes. This is definitely an unabashed ploy on our part to get you to go down to LBCC and take home a pair of them, but be sure to heed young Mimi’s counsel and know what bunny care involves.

“You need to get ready to give them what they need: space, exercise, protection from predators if they’re kept outside, and interaction with people,” Pringle said. “They like to be in pairs—they’re very social (yeah! Take two!).

Make sure you don’t put two males together—even when not neutered, they can fight. Yes, spay or neuter them; in fact, female rabbits can get ovarian cancer if they’re left unspayed.

Rabbits can be box trained—they’re swell indoor pets—but rabbit-proof your house because they like to chew, and they may chew on electrical cords. Most of all, know before you get them—people get their pets and they’re cute little bunnies and in four months, they’re huge. Then with the cleaning and all the stuff—they dump them. It’s so sad for the animals and so irresponsible of the people.

And don’t buy a bunny—there are so many that need to be adopted, here and at shelters.”

Some of the many adoptable rabbits are pictured below. They need lots of care and love in a forever home. Remember that the Camp Fire kids are watching.

“Don’t drop them off at LBCC, or anywhere,” Abigail Rubin admonished.