5 rabbits with maggots & matted fur found in Bukit Batok Park, 'sudden spike' in abandonment cases

Rabbits are not low-maintenance starter pets.

Zi Shan Kow | December 13, 2022, 04:34 PM

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Five abandoned rabbits were found at Lorong Sesuai in Bukit Batok on Dec. 12.

The first was spotted by a passerby the day before.

She managed to rescue one of them and alerted welfare groups that four other rabbits were sighted in the area.

After an appeal for volunteers was put up, the rabbits were successfully captured.

Two were taken in by Bunny Wonderland, a private rescue group.

The other two, both females, were taken in by the House Rabbit Society Singapore (HRSS), a volunteer-run non-profit organisation that rescues and rehomes abandoned rabbits.

The pair, Scoop and Sandy, were brought to the vet. They had maggots on their bottom and their fur were all matted.

These were not the only recent incidents of rabbit abandonment.

Earlier this month, 13 rabbits were found in poor condition in the Clementi area.

Sudden spike in rabbit abandonment

Betty, founder of HRSS, told Mothership that the rabbits found in Clementi and Bukit Batok might have been abandoned by breeders.

"We highly suspect that [breeders abandoned them], as they are relatively young and some have signs of pregnancy. One girl from the Bukit Batok case show signs that she has recently given birth."

She added that abandonment cases have experienced a "sudden spike" in the past two months.

Last year, HRSS took in eight abandoned rabbits. In the past six months, they have taken in a total of 14 rabbits.

Aside from these major cases HRSS have been alerted to, more individuals have also rescued abandoned rabbits on their own, says Betty.

Bunny Wonderland told Mothership they noticed an increase in abandonment since early November, all of which are Angora rabbits, which they noted as "very weird".

These days, it is "not uncommon" for rabbit owners to give up their pets due to commitment issues, but it is "definitely on the rise as more people are returning to work in office and spend less time at home", Bunny Wonderland added.

"Due to the strong resemblance of all these rabbits (long fur angoras/jersey wooly mix), we have a strong feeling they were from the same source."

At the time of writing, HRSS and Bunny Wonderland have rescued 29 rabbits, as well as nine babies that were birthed while in their care, since Nov. 6.

According to Bunny Wonderland, the Animal and Veterinary Service (AVS) is investigating the matter.

Rabbits are a 10-year commitment

Domesticated rabbits cannot survive in the wild and abandonment is a death sentence for them.

According to HRSS, the six bunnies under their care from the Clementi rescue are now doing better.

Betty advised potential pet owners against getting bunnies on impulse:

Rabbits are a 10-year commitment, they require time, effort and the finances to keep them healthy and happy. They are not low-maintenance starter pets for kids or anyone.

They are only suitable for people willing to treat them as part of the family.

HRSS has more than 60 fostered bunnies under their care and are running a donation drive for them here.

Bunny Wonderland also accepts donations to help with the vet bills and care for these abandoned bunnies.

If you are considering owning a rabbit, you can find out more about how to care for them through HRSS' guide here and Bunny Wonderland's guide here.

Top images by HRSS and Bunny Wonderland.