Sunday, April 20, 2014
We must sadly inform our readers that the World Bird Sanctuary’s loveable little “velveteen” rabbit, Patches, passed away on April 14, 2014.
Even though she was technically a Mini Rex rabbit, anyone who has ever stroked her soft fur will know why this breed is popularly know as the “Velveteen Rabbit”.
Patches was whelped at the Ralston Purina farm in Grey Summit, Missouri in 2005. She was part of their rabbit nutrition study program which monitored the health and growth rate of the animals when fed different foods. As she matured she became one of their breeders as a continuing part of the program. When Purina was purchased by another corporation, their rabbit nutrition program was phased out. We were fortunate to acquire Patches and another rabbit for our Education Department. Patches had already had several litters by the time she came to live at WBS.
Patches settled right in to her new job as official greeter for the youngsters who visited our Nature Center. She also was an important part of the WBS education programs that traveled to elementary schools to teach youngsters the differences between birds, mammals and reptiles. She was one of our “touchable” animals and was always patient and docile when little hands were feeling her soft fur.
Patches will be missed by staff and visitors alike--and especially by the children who make a beeline for her enclosure when entering the Nature Center.
Submitted by Gay Schroer, World Bird Sanctuary Volunteer/Photographer