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Abandoned pet bunnies that stood out like fluffy white thumbs rescued at Belle Isle Marsh before raptors or coyotes could get them

White rabbits in a brown marsh

White rabbits stood out in the brown of the marsh.

Hugmajesty reports she was leading a bird-watching tour at Belle Isle Marsh in East Boston today when she and her group came upon more than a dozen big white bunnies in the underbrush.

She posted some video showing them all sort of just congregating in the underbrush, not fleeing as wild rabbits might as a herd of people approached - and also not blending in at all with their surroundings like their mottled brown country cousins would.

Whoever dumped these bunnies is a terrible person. We saw three hawks species today and coyotes are known to hang out there.

She adds she initially called state Environmental Police, who told her to call Boston Animal Control, which is closed on Sunday, so she called Boston 311, which said they'd file a ticket with Animal Control, and then she called some wildlife rehabbers she knew in the area. But somebody from Animal Control must've gotten the message, because while she was doing that, she reports, somebody from Boston Animal Control called.

A couple hours later I got a call saying they’d rounded up 14 bunnies. We’d only counted 13 so that was a little surprise.

Hkergrrl adds:

Used to be a person by Wood Island who was breeding bunnies for either food or fur (or both) and a bunch got loose or they released them. They would just hang out on the lawn as every type of vehicle went past them. Glad you were able to get them to safety!

Big fluffy white rabbit


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They look like the rabbits that might be found in a lab. I wonder if they were overstock and someone thought this was better than killing them. Or even if someone grabbed them from the lab to set them free.


Anyone doing research with animals has to have their research approved under an IACUC board and the level of recordkeeping and accountability is absolutely insane. 14 missing animals would get a laboratory suspended, possibly permanently, and then bye-bye goes all that researcher's funding. It just wouldn't happen. Even a lab tech going rogue isn't likely - most animal facilities have pretty strong entry/exit security protocols, due to activists and animal rights folks having had Issues in the past, and furthermore it'd be crazy to get far enough in your science career that you have unsupervised access to a ton of animals without being generally okay with... doing science on animals.

Even further up in the supply chain it'd be really difficult to just vanish with a bunch of animals.... and that's assuming there's "overstock" to begin with. In medical research, at least, a huge portion of the animals purchased for research are purpose bred because they need to have super consistent genetics and predicable medical histories for results. Labs aren't just going out to random pet shops and buying a mismatch of whatever mice/bunnies they can get. They're buying them from husbandry programs/companies that are carefully tracking their inventory.

Now, if it's cosmetics research, that may be a whole other thing. But really doubt this has anything to do with medical research.


Also, if they caught 14 rabbits now, that probably means there were only two to begin with.


Animal Control calling was like a rabbit being pulled out of a hat.


Run Away!!!!


I was waiting for this!!!!


to empty out someone's hawk feeder like that.


adds that je ne sais quoi to the Thanksgiving stuffing.

…. eh, nevermind. Probably way too processed to have any texture or flavor.