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Bunrick Hops into Animal Lovers' Back Yard

Bunrick, once stray, now enjoys his new home at the Rabbit Sanctuary. 


On a warm, sunny Saturday evening in April in Simpsonville, S.C., Yvonne Butrick was busy refilling her bird feeders. She heard her husband yelling out, "Quick, look out the side window. I just saw a large black rabbit in our azaleas!"

Yvonne immediately stopped what she was doing and peaked outside of the window, but she was too late. She didn’t see any animal life there, let alone a rabbit.

For the next few days at the Butrick household the couple played a game of hide and seek with the stray, black rabbit. It seems the rabbit would appear, then disappear, at times munching on azalea plants and other times resting under the shrubs. The Butricks placed water and carrots out for him and named him Mr. Bunny. He would allow them to approach closer and closer but still not close enough to pick him up.

In the meantime, they printed a flyer and put one in each of their neighbors’ mailboxes, just in case someone nearby had lost their rabbit. Mr. Bunny was too comfortable with humans to not have been a companion rabbit. Unfortunately no one claimed him. The Butricks didn’t know what to do but knew they couldn’t leave Mr. Bunny outside for very much longer because of the constant threat of predators.

Then a strange coincidence happened. Yvonne was on the Web site for The Fund for Animals as it was time to renew their membership, and she found mention of the Rabbit Sanctuary. Much to her surprise and relief, the Rabbit Sanctuary was located in Simpsonville, South Carolina…their home town! She immediately contacted the Rabbit Sanctuary, who gave instructions on ways to catch Mr. Bunny immediately, as he probably would not survive in the wild for much longer.

Catching the stray rabbit was another matter...

By the light of the full moon, the Butricks used an old fishing net and managed to snag Mr. Bunny. It wasn’t easy, especially because he was engaged in a chasing game with a wild rabbit! They then quickly dragged the net with Mr. Bunny inside to the garage where they secured the doors and windows and released him. He seemed to be unfazed by the ordeal and just started nibbling on another carrot. After a huge stretch, he lay down to go to sleep on the rug.

The next morning they took him to the Rabbit Sanctuary where he was checked over carefully before he was placed in his temporary accommodation. Mr. Bunny was renamed Mr. Bunrick, in honor of the Butricks but varied slightly to better mimic "bunny." Due to their efforts and support of The Fund, the little black rabbit now has a permanent, safe haven to call home.

Posted March 21, 2007