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A bonding disaster?

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SoftOlive

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Hi there,

I could do with some advice please.

In July I rescued Olive and her long time husbun, and they were very happy (being very much rabbit rabbits, who didnt mind me but i couldnt touch them) until sadly her husbun was stolen nearly 4 weeks ago. Olive was traumatised, and started to become very depressed. I contacted the rescue for help and suggested another bunny may help her, and they suggested Sidney. I met him, he's little and a bundle of love. He loves to be stroked and have his cheeks rubbed. So cute.

Olive initially was *delighted*. She was binkying around the garden, I'd not seen her so happy in weeks. The two rabbits have been happily cohabiting with a wire fence between them, I've been swapping litters and they sniff each other etc with no aggression. And most importantly she's really perked up - I'm even allowed to stroke her face now!

On Sunday morning (just after a week of Sidneys arrival) I woke at 6.30am to a commotion. He'd broken through the bars and they were fighting in the kitchen. Olive's fur was everywhere, and I'm unsure how long it had been happening.

I've left it a few days, peace has returned and I've tried introducing in a neutral environment with their favourite greens spread around. They met, heads to the ground, he sniffed her and she seemed accepting.. then he mounted her head and the fight began. No amount of sprayed water or shouting stopped them, and they quickly ended up locked on to eachother's necks, rolling over the floor. I managed to separate them by grabbing him eventually and quickly shutting him in the next room.

It was so incredibly violent, I'm in shock to be honest! If I'd not intervened I'm under no illusions that fight wouldn't have stopped for a while. So my question is what next? It doesn't seem fair to put her through this. Do I keep trying or is this a sign it's not going to ease? I've emailed the rescue to let them know this isn't going so well..!

Sorry for the long post. I'm now very appreciative of my last pairing (sadly I lost these bunnies to illness last year). Frankie boxed Nancy, she wasn't interested and she sat next to him and that was that..!
 

Bribunnyy

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i believe it’s because of how fast you’re trying to bond them. don’t rush it and put them in the same cage/area just yet. make sure you have a secure gate separating them both so they can sniff and see each other. continue doing this for a couple days/weeks before you put them in the same cage. if they’re grooming each other and things seem to be going well, put them together but be ready to separate if any fighting happens. however, if they humping each other with no fighting, that’s totally fine. but make sure neither one of them jumps the front of the bunny like before, because that will end in a fight. hope this helped!
 

SoftOlive

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Manchester, Greater Manchester
i believe it’s because of how fast you’re trying to bond them. don’t rush it and put them in the same cage/area just yet. make sure you have a secure gate separating them both so they can sniff and see each other. continue doing this for a couple days/weeks before you put them in the same cage. if they’re grooming each other and things seem to be going well, put them together but be ready to separate if any fighting happens. however, if they humping each other with no fighting, that’s totally fine. but make sure neither one of them jumps the front of the bunny like before, because that will end in a fight. hope this helped!
Thanks! It's been over a week of peaceful living next to each other with bars in between so maybe I was being naive that a first meeting might be less eventful. As soon as he mounted her head I tried to get him off but the fight was instant, so that's definitely going to be a challenge if that keeps happening. I am a bit worried that he's this small firecracker with a ton of energy and she's a 3kg+ loaf who likes an occasional run in the garden but prefers her bed or eating!
 

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