Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Bunnies At A Bird Sanctuary???

Why do we have bunnies, you may ask....

Meet Patches and Hazel, our two newest residents.  They came to us from Purina's Research Farm when the Rabbit Nutrition Study program was phased out.  

Patches is a Broken Castor color Mini Rex rabbit.  She is 4 years old and has already had several litters.  When Patches arrived she was already very calm and didn't seem to mind being handled and petted.

Hazel is 2 years old and has had several litters also.  She too is a Mini Rex rabbit and a good example of the Castor color.

When she first arrived at WBS Hazel was docile, but a bit jumpy about being stroked.  However, since our animals are handled on a daily basis, she is already finding that being stroked by humans isn't such a bad thing, and now seems to be enjoying the contact with our staff and our small visitors. 

This brings us to why there are bunnies at a Bird Sanctuary!  A great many of our outreach programs are presented at preschools and elementary schools, for audiences ranging from two to fourteen year olds.  The first impulse for this age child is to want to touch the animals.  Unfortunately, our birds are not touchable.  However, the bunnies and guinea pigs are very touchable and satisfy this urge.  Plus, they help us to explain the differences between birds, mammals and reptiles to the children.  So....the bunnies are very important members of our education team.

When you come to visit, be sure to stop by to see and pet Patches and Hazel.  When you pet them you'll realize why this breed is also referred to as "The Velveteen Rabbit".

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