In spite of everything, it’s a hoppy ending for Hope

Sadly, these little babies have since died.

 

Hope the rabbit has had an eventful week — she was rescued from an out-of-town kid’s party venue, received emergency treatment from a local vet, made a miraculous recovery and then became a mom!

Hope is lucky to be alive, thanks to the work of the Peacock family and the Lonehill Bunnies. No one knew she was pregnant.

Hope is lucky to be alive, thanks to the work of the Peacock family and the Lonehill Bunnies. No one knew she was pregnant.

On Saturday, 7 January, resident Mandy Peacock and her son Rhys were at a children’s party venue outside Joburg when they found a female rabbit in a shocking state. The rabbit, who was named Hope by her rescuers, had extreme hair loss over a portion of her body, was suffering from hypothermia and was unable to keep her balance when she tried to stand.

The Peacock family brought her back to Joburg and contacted the Lonehill Bunnies organisation, which cares for dumped bunnies in the area. They, in turn, contacted Dr Perushan Yenketsamy of Bryanston Avian, Exotic and Small Animal Clinic for help.

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“Hope was presented as an emergency after-hours call-out on Saturday,” explained Yenketsamy.

Hope was rescued on Saturday, 7 January from a children's party venue.

Hope was rescued on Saturday, 7 January from a children’s party venue.

“I treated her by inserting a drip line into her ear vein and gave her warm fluids with glucose to give her energy. I started her on an antibiotic, two drugs to keep her gut moving, which is essential in rabbits, and medication for worms and parasites. I then placed her on a heating pad.”

The treatment worked. By Sunday, Hope had made a miraculous recovery. She was released from veterinary care and fostered by the Peacock family in Lonehill — but that wasn’t the end of Hope’s story.

On 12 January, Cristina Botef of the Lonehill Bunnies announced on social media that, surprisingly, Hope had given birth to a litter of five bunnies! “We didn’t even know she was pregnant!” explained Botef.

“Unfortunately, all five babies passed away over the weekend [14-15 January]. But while they were with us, they were loved and cared for.

Read Community comes together for animals at Joburg Zoo

“I want people to understand that bunnies are not ‘starter’ pets, and they are, in fact, exotic animals requiring specialised vet care. This is not generally known [by people who buy one without doing research], and this leads to so many bunnies being bought on a whim and then being abandoned.”

Dr Perushan Yenketsamy had to insert a drip line into Hope's ear vein to give her warm fluids, glucose and antibiotics.

Dr Perushan Yenketsamy had to insert a drip line into Hope’s ear vein to give her warm fluids, glucose and antibiotics.

Hope is healing well and will be available for adoption in about two months’ time. “We operate like all responsible animal welfare groups, so we require potential adopters to fill in an application form and submit to a home check,” explained Botef.

If you are interested in adopting Hope, or any of the other rabbits cared for by the Lonehill Bunnies, you can call Botef on 082 888 5895 or email cbotef@gmail.com. You are also invited to donate to the Lonehill Bunnies to help them continue their work with abandoned rabbits.

Details: Account name Lonehill Bunnies, Standard Bank Rivonia, branch code 001255, account number 424 363 542.

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  AUTHOR
Robyn Kirk
Journalist

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