Rabbit paw manipulation.

by John Thorpe
(Bury,Lancs)

Hello there,
I hope you'll find this interesting and would welcome any comments.

I have a long background in animal care,both professional and on a personal level,and have dealt with rabbits a fair bit.

However I freely admit that to my eternal shame,I never credited them with the intelligence and personality which they possess,and in the past few years have adopted rabbits and spent a lot of time around them,never ceasing to be amazed at their little character quirks.

The other night with Freya,my adopted Harlequin Mini Lop.She's awaiting her óperation',and as a result I've kept her separate from her intended mate Tyrion,in case he got a bit over amorous and spoiled the relationship before it started.

She comes into the house every night,in a small fold-up dog cage so that they can associate,and the other night I had put some grass and greens in for her.

A small amount spilled out of the cage and after she'd eaten everything else,she made her way to the side of the cage,sniffed the leaves and then put her left paw through as far as she could,and tried to hook the greens and manouvre them towards her,just like a cat.Obviously a rabbit's front legs are shorter so she wasn't as able as a cat,but nevertheless had a good try!

I have never seen a rabbit use it's front paws like this,and neither has a friend and ex- zoo keeper. Has anyone seen this and have any comments?

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