Beating the numbers game

By David Dickson

Rabbits are known for many things, not the least of which is their ability to go from newborn to grandparent in a matter of months. Sad to say, many people don’t realize pet rabbits can safely be spayed or neutered (and most certainly should be). One woman from Las Vegas found this out the hard way. She brought home a few rabbits of undetermined gender and before long she was up to her ears in baby bunnies.

That brings up another problem regarding rabbits, particularly babies. It isn’t easy to identify their gender on sight. Time and again people have brought home what they thought were two males, or two females, and ended up with a visit from the stork before realizing their mistake.

This woman reached out to Best Friends for help several months ago. She intends to find homes for as many of the rabbits as possible, and will continue to care for the rest as long as necessary. In the meantime, she needed those numbers to stop growing! The rabbits had already multiplied to several dozen. Ever since that first call for help, Best Friends has been providing spays and neuters to the rabbits. At long last, the population control has stabilized. The final litter was born recently.

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Dave cares for Tian's eye

One of the babies from this last litter developed an eye injury and came to Best Friends so she could receive medical treatment. There happened to be room at the Bunny House for two, so a sister came as well. They get along great.

Their names are Xui Li and Tian, both popular names for Chinese girls. This is the Year of the Rabbit in the Chinese zodiac, after all! Tian is the one with the eye injury. She receives medical care four times a day, which has greatly improved her eye. So far, it looks like the eye should heal up just fine.

Tian is a bit on the shy side of things, and comes across more cautious than her sister. Xui Li, on the other hand, appears far more curious and wants to figure out everything she can about the world around her. Though they have apparently different approaches to learning the ropes of life, there’s one thing they agree on every time: and that’s what’s for dinner. Namely, anything and everything!

They were not underfed in their previous home, yet they have developed bottomless pits for stomachs. It’s impossible to determine what they consider a favorite food, because they inhale anything placed in front of them. Hey, at least they’re easy to cook for!

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Shy Tian

Though they get along well for now, sibling rivalry has a tendency to set in more often than not. When and if it does, there are more than a few bachelor rabbits ready to make their acquaintance, should they need to be separated. One way or another these two gals will have a comfy place at Best Friends as long as they need one.

As for the rest of their cousins and other relatives living down in Vegas, that family tree will no longer grow any larger. A good thing, too. They already have enough birthday cards to send each year!

Be a responsible rabbit person: spay and neuter! Best Friends offers resources to educate you about your rabbits.

For more information about caring for your rabbits, check our valuable information!

July 18 through 22 is Rabbit Week at Best Friends! For more stories, information on proper rabbit care resources and a multimedia bunny extravaganza check it out!

Photos by Gary Kalpakoff