Peacebunny Island in Minnesota

Discussion in 'Rabbits in the Press' started by Butterscotch, Aug 12, 2019.

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  1. Aug 12, 2019 #1

    Butterscotch

    Butterscotch

    Butterscotch

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    I read the sweetest article this morning in today's issue of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. It's available online, I think you guys would enjoy it! It features a 15 year old boy who has been rescuing rabbits since he was 9 years old. He and his family have purchased two islands in Minnesota that they use exclusively to rescue rabbits and train support rabbits. This boy also shows rabbits and travels with emotional support rabbits to help people cope in traumatic situations. If you Google Peacebunny Island you can read about him. I thought it was such a lovely story!
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2019
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  2. Aug 12, 2019 #2

    Niomi

    Niomi

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    I saw that article in the paper also. There is a lot of information out there that tells people rabbits don't belong outside, they belong in the house. Then I see something like this, or the way feral rabbits are kept at other rescues, and I wonder if anyone will ever share there secretes to successfully keeping rabbits safe and healthy outdoors. There are people that love the outdoors, and outdoor pets are a joy to them.
     
  3. Aug 12, 2019 #3

    Niomi

    Niomi

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  4. Aug 13, 2019 #4

    Niomi

    Niomi

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  5. Aug 13, 2019 #5

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

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    Such a sweet read, thank you for sharing!
     
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  6. Sep 27, 2019 #6

    Caleb Smith

    Caleb Smith

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    "There is a lot of information out there that tells people rabbits don't belong outside, they belong in the house. Then I see something like this, or the way feral rabbits are kept at other rescues, and I wonder if anyone will ever share there secretes to successfully keeping rabbits safe and healthy outdoors. There are people that love the outdoors, and outdoor pets are a joy to them."

    Good morning -- this is Caleb from Peacebunny Island. Thanks for your great questions... We worked with a lot of environmental experts, animal scientists and rabbit specialty vets to come up with our plan. But it's what works for us and the rabbits we care for at our particular properties, not generic recommendations. The first key was completing a full biosecurity plan at Peacebunny Cottage (organic farm) and the islands, including checking for hazards (types of plants, soil samples, parasites etc), and then conduct pilot studies.

    We are blessed because we have an organic farm with lots of space from neighbor's yards that could be using chemicals. We have plenty of outdoor play space and a garden. Our plan is designed to prevent cross contamination with other animals and the germs people bring in. We have a transport plan that far exceeds minimum standards. The rabbits currently go island hopping with us via houseboat and they get to play on the islands while continually supervised by humans. They do not live outside on the island. We also don't bring rabbits that could get pregnant. We have daily well-checks for any parasites or injuries and they have separate quarters from the rest of our rabbits when they return home until they are cleared. Lots of more details beyond the scope here, but we love that they get to run, play, dig in an amazing outdoor obstacle course and get socialization time with us and other rabbits. We learned a ton of what NOT to do by looking at the Japan rabbit island disaster. It's important that our plan is safe for the rabbits, the youth and the environment in a sustainable way.

    Everyone needs to decide what is the right amount of safety and protection for their own rabbit...And not everyone will agree. But at the end of the day, we are their guardians and do the best we can to take care of the sweetness entrusted to us.
     
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  7. Sep 27, 2019 #7

    Preitler

    Preitler

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    Well, I like your project, it adds another facet to the topic of keeping rabbits. It's not exactly how I would do it, mine are both lifestock and pets, and I havn't an island at my disposal.

    Rabbits are perfectly fine outside, when their needs are met, mine live in hutches and are out during the day, my fences are pretty symbolic and about half of them ignore them, no problem, they don't run away when they grew up with that kind of freedom. The only rabbits I lost to foxes didn't have the chance to bolt and hide underground, they were plucked from a (now improved) hutch.

    There were 2 escapees from the very first litter, two does, after two weeks I simply didn't have the heart to capture them, they adopted to living in the wild so well. They became mascotts of the neighbouring demolition waste recycle plant, and I met them now and then for 3 years until I moved away, they found themself a wild romeo and had offspring, lived a solid, normal rabbit live. Of course there were things like parasites, but I think they had a good life (if I had caught them they would just have got an invitation for dinner...)

    The japanese island, they deal with rabbits in a different way, might look strange to some, but imho those rabbits still have a better life than 90% of pet rabbits. I don't know much about it, but I wouldn't call it a disaster just because it's not the way I think what the right way is.
     
  8. Sep 27, 2019 #8

    Niomi

    Niomi

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    Caleb,
    Welcome to this forum. I love this forum because of the diversity of rabbit lovers, pet owners and breeders alike. I also love what you are doing with your rabbits and your resources. Being a baby boomer, I have seen rabbits go from being hutch rabbit raised for meat, which our parents were encouraged to do during WWII, to house pets. The transition has not been an easy one. About ten years ago I rescued three bunnies and I could not keep them inside, so I made a safe place for them outside in a hutch which I placed inside of a dog kennel. I then went to a forum (not this one) to ask questions about their care. My post was shared many times and I received hate mail from across the country, because as I was told, that keeping rabbits outside was "abusive and neglectful." The reason that the shelters were filling up with rabbits, as claimed by many, was because breeders would not stop breeding, and I would hear stories of groups of people going out to rabbitries to try to shut them down. You are lucky if you missed out on all that action, but some of those attitudes still exist.

    I no longer know of anyone personally that has outdoor rabbits, including myself, but I did foster house rabbits for awhile. I rescued house rabbits from a hording situation and I have known people who lost house rabbits because they were attacked or scared to death by the family dog. I also took care of a rabbit that destroyed his knee cap by jumping of the back of a sofa onto a hardwood floor, and I knew someone who kept their pet outside because their parent didn't like animals in the house, and if the pet was inside, it was abused. I do believe that there are situations in which rabbits would do better outside in a protected area.

    I am grateful for this forum because people can get information from fellow rabbit lovers that they can't get anywhere else. If I were to try to find information from organizations on how to keep outdoor rabbits here in the USA, I would be told that rabbits only belong in the house. Domestic rabbit originated in Europe, where rabbits have been kept outside for years. I think the greatest threat to pet rabbits is ignorance.
     
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  9. Sep 27, 2019 #9

    ESA

    ESA

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    Hi,
    The Japanese "Rabbit Island" does look strange to some for the fact that although it is a beautiful island with thousands of adorable rabbits, it is not always what it may seem. I have seen some shocking videos of torn up rabbits and sick rabbits begging for food from visitors. The rabbits are not wild , they are simply domestic rabbits who populated and populated , but most of them are very tame and come crowding for food . They do rely on humans for survival. Many could use the help of humans for medical care as well, but they receive none. If you ever go to rabbit island bring a ton of healthy greens and fresh water and be prepared to be surrounded by hungry and thirsty rabbits! I have seen both adorable and shocking journeys to the island and I do not agree with what is happening there. It would be different if the rabbits were well fed, protected, and had medical care, but they do not get that. They get food from visitors but not always healthy food important for their overall health and survival.

    Yes, they get a lot of roaming space on the island which Is amazing, but they lack proper diet and medical care. :(

    I have never been there personally , but the videos I saw were definitely real. I really hope for the sake of the rabbits there that they are now receiving proper care!
    I agree it is possible to house rabbits outdoors ( in an appropriate climate) if they are given a large , fun, safe, and healthy environment. Some places such as where I live are just not suitable with over 100 degrees outside. I do not have rabbits for this reason.
     
  10. Sep 27, 2019 #10

    ESA

    ESA

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    Ignore this post, I accidently posted twice and did not know how to delete the second message.
     
  11. Sep 28, 2019 #11

    Niomi

    Niomi

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    European (domestic) rabbits are an invasive species and should never be left to roam free. They can live just about anywhere, and there is even a problem with feral rabbits in Valdez Alaska. Look up the history of Australia and you can see how those cute little rabbits wiped out vegetation, making much of the country unlivable for native species. The virus myxoma had to be introduced into the rabbit population to save the ecology.
     

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