The Brave Rabbit

Sunde White illustrates her essay about an abandoned rabbit


So about a month ago I was driving on Hwy 1, about to pull in to the parking lot of a favorite beach, when out of the corner of my eye I saw a large black rabbit sitting peacefully in the dirt a safe distance from the road.  I’m not a rabbit expert but even I know the difference between a local wild rabbit which is small and brown and this giant, fuzzy black one with big floppy ears.

I immediately turned around to get him, not realizing that he would not be available to be gotten that day or any future day.  I approached slowly with a beach towel in my hands, ready to throw it over him as if he were an injured sea bird.  The second I got near, he bound down the ravine hidden by Cypress trees and wild mustard.

Two days later I saw him again but by the time I got near, he was gone.  “At least, he’s fast and seems to know how to keep himself safe.”  I thought to myself and decided not to worry about him.  “He seems to be living his best life out here.”

But that weekend a lady came into my shop and for some reason she started talking about how she has rabbits.  I told her about the rabbit living out by the beach.

“Oh, that’s a Lop Eared rabbit.  It’s been dumped there.  People do it all the time.  It’s so sad.” She continued.  “It’s very dangerous out there for them with the hawks and wild animals.  Often they can’t burrow like local rabbits so they’re very vulnerable.  Also, they’re from Europe so they can’t eat the same things that our local wild rabbits can.”

She went on to tell me that to catch the rabbit, a group of people would need to work together with some sort of fencing and enclose it and then take it to safety.  “Okay…that sounds like more than I can handle.”  I thought to myself.

I’ve become obsessed with the safety of this rabbit.  Is he sitting by the road waiting for his family to pick him up??? Omg, the thought of him wistfully waiting by the road for his asshole owner while a red tail hawk circles above, is too much to bear, but what to do about it?

The next Monday, when I took the dogs to the beach early in the morning, I saw him in the exact same spot again!  I called the ACC in Burlingame that also rescues wild and domestic animals and rehabs them.  “We’ll send someone out.”  The lady on the phone told me.

I remembered back to the time years ago, when I found a skittish dog in the same area, hiding in the bushes and living off the trash that beach goers left behind.  I called them and watched one of their guys wander around the bushes with what looked like a giant butterfly net for a half hour until giving up and driving away.  The dog was finally reunited with his owner after I went out and posted signs everywhere and serendipitously the dogs’ owners appeared shouting his name and long story short the dog went home safe and sound.

Anyway, because of that experience, I decided to check to see if they had gotten the rabbit.  They hadn’t.  Sigh.

“Maybe someone else has spotted him and picked him up?” I hoped to myself.  Then I started chewing my lip.  “Or a hawk got him…or a coyote.  Maybe he got spooked and ran into the road, got hit by a car and a vulture picked his body apart to bones and black fluff.”

But then a few evenings ago I saw him!!! Sitting quietly on the side of the road, waiting for his family to come pick him up.  Okay, I had to do something.  So I did some research.  While learning that grapes are rabbits’ favorite food, an article popped up titled, “Seven Most Aggressive Rabbit Breeds”.  I was thrilled to learn that some Lope Eared rabbits made the list!

“Maybe he stands a chance.”  I thought to myself.

So today went and picked up some rabbit hay, some rabbit kibble and all the fresh veggies and grapes that rabbits like and drove out to his spot under the Cypress trees.  I was happy to realize how safe the spot that he lives in is.  From the road there is a very steep hill that is disguised by all the shoulder high wild flowers.  The brush is thick and the overhanging trees are perfect cover from hawks and coyotes.

I scrambled a few feet down the hill balancing the rabbit’s groceries in each arm.  Conveniently, there was a big piece of particle board tucked deep down in the flowers under the trees, creating a perfect feeding platform.  I laid out a bunch of the rabbit hay, some kibble, kale, mint, broccoli, a carrot and a banana and a little dish with fresh water.  “Bunny! Bunny!”  I called, hoping that maybe he’ll start to recognize my voice so I have a better chance of rescuing him one day.  I scanned the ground and could see little round rabbits poops so I feel he’s still surviving out there.

I think what I’ll do is feed him every few days so he stays healthy and becomes comfortable eating in that spot and then I want to put a trapping cage and put his feeding station in there and check it every morning to see if I got him.

Does that sound like a good plan?  If there are any rabbit experts/ rabbit rescuers out there I’d gladly accept your advice or cages.  Thank you and please don’t ever dump a rabbit!  They aren’t wild animals!!! Duh.