This summer, I adopted a two year old Polish Dwarf rabbit from Whitby Animal Services. Now, I would love to sit here and tell you that my family and I had been planning for months to go out and find a rabbit to adopt, but in all honesty, it was all quite spontaneous. My mom and I walked in, saw her, filled out the paperwork, and walked out. That was it. Due to this hastiness and my lack of research, the biggest thing I learned this summer is that, rabbits are HIGHLY intelligent. Because of this reason, I thought I would share some facts about rabbits you may not know.
To start off, let me tell you about my rabbit. The shelter decided to name her, since they had no clue as to what her previous family had called her. They went with Alex. No offense to any Alex’s out there, but the name was a little too lack-luster for my family. She doesn’t really look like an “Alex” to me, what do you think?
We decided to name her Kiara, after Simba’s daughter Kiara in The Lion King.
Fact 1: When a rabbit is extremely happy or joyful, they “binky”. This is basically when they run and jump into the air, while twisting their bodies and kicking their feet. Rabbits look absolutely insane when they do this. As you can imagine, when I first saw Kiara “binky”, I thought something was seriously wrong. I thought I brought some possessed creature into my house. I WISH I could catch her doing this on camera, but it’s way too unpredictable and quick. Here are some pictures of another rabbit “binkying”:
Fact 2: Rabbits communicate in many different ways. If you had asked me what kinds of sounds a rabbit makes six months ago, I’d have no idea what to tell you. Now, I’m more than fluent in rabbit. For example, rabbits purr and make honking sounds when they are content with their surroundings. They’ll lick you as a sign of affection, and nudge you when they’re annoyed. Probably most interesting of all, rabbits like to run around you in circles for one of two reasons. Either they are happy to see you, or they’re sexually excited. It’s best if you don’t know what their motive is.
Fact 3: Rabbits have a great memory. They remember who you are and whether or not they are fond of you. If you make them upset, they will remember and avoid you at all costs (unless you win them back by giving them a treat, of course). Their memories are usually triggered more-so by your scent or voice, rather than your physical appearance. From where you keep food, to where the latch of their cage is, they remember. I can’t recall the number of times Kiara has broken out of her cage, it’s really quite astonishing.
Fact 4: Buying rabbits from pet stores in Ontario cities such as Toronto, Mississauga, and Windsor has been illegal for the last few years. I feel that I should finish with a very important point. I didn’t know this fact until we adopted Kiara, but this law has been put into place to encourage adoption. So many animals, including rabbits, are euthanized every year because shelters are overwhelmed by numerous pets that have been rescued, abused or abandoned. In order to save them, it’s crucial to bring attention to those animals in shelters waiting to find homes. So, ADOPT YOUR PETS.