HomeAnimalsHairless Rabbit Saved From Euthanasia, Becomes Instagram Star
Hairless Rabbit Saved From Euthanasia, Becomes Instagram Star
April 28, 2020
Cassandra Hall from Victoria, Australia, saw a local breeder advertising baby rabbits on Facebook, and one thing immediately caught her attention. There was a sentence under one of the photos that read, “Hairless not for sale”.
She already had a rabbit of her own but messaged the breeder nonetheless. Cassandra asked to see more photos of the hairless rabbit as she had never seen one before.
The breeder sent her images. You can have it for free, he added.
Hairless rabbits don’t sell and he had to put down the one he had before.
Cassandra went to the breeder the next day and when she got back, she had the little critter with her. He reminded his new family of the hairless cat in the Austin Powers movies, so they named him Mr. Bigglesworth, and he fit right in.
At first, the family was worried about their new pet because they weren’t sure how healthy Mr. Bigglesworth actually was. Cassandra said she tried to research the Internet about his condition but couldn’t find anything, so she put photos of him on her other rabbit’s Instagram account, renamed the account so it would belong to the both of them and asked if anyone knew anything.
Cassandra was hoping someone in the online rabbit world would know about his condition and how to look after him. To her surprise, within one week, the media began to publish her story and other rabbit owners from all around the world reached out to her, sharing their own experiences of having rabbits with the same condition.
Turns out, if two rabbits are with and both of them have the ff gene (hairless gene), they will produce a hairless baby in every litter. Such was the case of Mr. Bigglesworth. Most of these bunnies don’t live past 4 weeks of age.
The stories of other hairless rabbits Cassandra has read varied quite a bit: some grew fine fur all over their bodies, some grew patchy fur and others didn’t live long.
“[Currently,] Mr. Bigglesworth is very healthy considering his condition,” Cassandra told RED SHOTGUN Mr. Bigglesworth does have a high metabolism, though. He eats more than a normal rabbit because of his condition, but other than that he’s fine and has vet checks every 6 months.
“He lives inside with us, we never let him outside because Australia has the calicivirus which kills rabbits and is transported by mosquito bites,” Mr. Bigglesworth’s human mom explained. “He is kept warm by his numerous jumpers and his companion rabbit Miss Cinnamon Bun.”
“If he does get cold, he shivers like a human. His skin feels like baby skin, it is super soft and if he scratches himself we use pawpaw ointment. He is toilet trained to use a kitty litter tray.”
The hairless bunny is so happy, his positive vibes keep his family entertained all day. “He has a cheeky personality and is very mischievous,” Cassandra said. “He knows the word ‘no’ and if I see him doing something naughty, I yell out ‘no’ and he comes up to me and stomps his feet and honks a noise. He does this several times to me and it makes me laugh. It’s as if he is yelling at me for telling him off.”
Mr. Bigglesworth also knows his name and comes running when he is called. “Rabbits are very intelligent animals and need to be looked after properly and need to be entertained by lots of rabbit toys or they can be destructive,” Cassandra explained.
It’s true, rabbits aren’t for everyone. “Although they don’t need to be walked like dogs, rabbits are anything but low-maintenance,” a spokesperson for House Rabbit Society, Mary E. Cotter, Ed.D., said. “Their quarters need daily cleaning, and fresh food and water must be offered daily, including a salad of well-washed, dark-green leafy vegetables. Certain rabbit health problems can become chronic and can require regular (and sometimes expensive) veterinary treatment. To complicate the picture, veterinarians skilled in rabbit medicine are often hard to find.”
Rabbits need daily monitoring. Problems that are relatively minor in some species (for example, a day or two of anorexia) may be life-threatening in rabbits, and may require immediate veterinary attention. People should really do their research before bringing one of these creatures home!
Mr. Bigglesworth also has his own merch, and his owners donate some of the money they get to various good causes. “Our latest was for the wildlife affected by bushfires in Australia because it was so close to our home,” Cassandra said. “We did short videos visiting various wildlife centers and giving them money from what our fans raised, it was very rewarding.
She also takes him to schools in their area and does talks on no-bullying for the children, if you’d like to find out more about it, all of this is on his social media accounts.
Since Mr. Bigglesworth is the epitome of the outcast, most people connect with his ‘underdog’ story and adore him for his endearing qualities. Cassandra said his loyal followers embrace his physical appearance, and have fallen in love with his cheekiness and conneced to his message; that true beauty comes in all forms and radiates from within. “The Mr. Bigglesworth story is still unfolding and will hopefully continue for many more years.”