Last week, we had an appointment with friends for dinner in Sai Kung. We left home early expecting to arrive in Sai Kung with plenty of time to look for a metered parking space (very hard to come by in Hong Kong) only to find ourselves at the end of a queue of slow moving cars waiting their turn for the round-about. We were almost to the round-about when we noticed something unusual in the driveway to the left of us; a small white rabbit.
It was clearly out of place and confused, skipping up and down the driveway, absolutely unsure of where to go. I immediately steered the car into the driveway and got out of the car wondering how I was going to catch the rabbit. As I approached the rabbit, guards in charge of protecting this very expensive home were wondering why an unauthorised car had parked in their driveway. As one of the guards opened the gate to request ("command" might be a better word) that I leave, I pointed to the rabbit upon which he closed the gate and left us alone.
She's definitely cute; white all over with black bands around her eyes and two black spots on her back.
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The rabbit was injured looking as if it had been hit by a car. Catching it and picking it up was not a problem at all. I later realised that the rabbit was probably in shock at the time making it easier to catch. I placed him on newspapers behind the front passenger seat of our car and drove off to Sai Kung for dinner. That night after dinner, we took him home with us and placed him in a spare cage.
The next day, we fed and looked after him. His injuries were more obvious in the daylight. He had cuts, scratches and grazes down one side of his body, and an injured eye that was completely white and didn't look too healthy. One side of his head appeared swollen and slightly lop-sided as well. He obviously needed treatment and we didn't want to keep him unless we had to so we dropped him off at the SPCA. I made it a point to inform them at the SPCA that we'd look after the rabbit if nobody else adopted him.
After the SPCA's doctor had examined the rabbit, they called to tell me that he was going to be ok and didn't need any treatment although he might eventually need to have his eye removed. Where I had surmised that the rabbit's injuries had been caused by a car, the doctor thought he had probably been attacked by dogs. Unfortunately, the SPCA didn't think he was suitable for adoption because of the bad eye and the unattractive injuries so he'd be put down if we didn't take him back.
Probably attacked by dogs, she had cuts, scratches and grazes down one side of her body, and an almost completely white injured eye. Today, one week after this photo was taken, most of the hair has grown back and the white is going out of her eye. However, we still can't be sure if she'll be able to keep the eye.
And the doctor told us one more thing. The rabbit was a girl! (Apparently, it's very difficult to differentiate girl rabbits from boy rabbits and usually requires close experienced examination.)
So we now have a girl rabbit staying with us. She might belong to someone in the neighbourhood where we found her so we're putting up advertisements in the local ParknShop but I think she'll probably be here for the long haul. One good thing about keeping her is that we now have sexual balance in our home. With four women, one man, seven male dogs and three female dogs, the males outnumbered the females. With the rabbit, males and females are now equally matched. That has to be a good thing right?
Today, one week after finding her, the rabbit's doing really well. The doctor had told me that she might not regrow hair in the injured area down the side of her body but in less than one week, she has already grown most of it back and she's quite pretty. Her pink nose is really cute and almost never stops moving. She's especially cute when she's washing her ears and face. It's the first time I've ever been this close to a rabbit and I'm enjoying the experience.
Our dogs are absolutely captivated by her. Unfortunately, it's more than curiosity. If she ever escaped from the cage, she'd almost certainly be killed by our dogs. I remember watching Beethoven sitting in front of the cage and watching her on the first day she stayed with us. Beethoven; normally very quiet and gentle; was shaking all over with the excitement and anticipation of being able to catch and kill the rabbit. It wasn't a pretty sight but there's very little you can do without time and training. Killing cute furry animals is part of their nature. Beethoven is getting used to the rabbit and behaving much better now but there's no way I'm letting the rabbit out of the cage any time soon. For extra safety, I'm the only one here allowed to open the cage.
All of our dogs were extremely captivated by the rabbit and very very curious. The dog in this picture is David, the oldest of four brothers and sisters found as pups in a bush near our home. He's very gentle, playful and loving, spending a large part of his free time lying on the floor next to my feet while I sit at the computer.
For a 750x500 version, click .
I'm hoping that her eye will heal but there's still a very good chance that it's permanently damaged and will have to be removed. Even so, she's very cute.
We haven't named her yet. Any ideas?