Sorrel is a very small black wild rabbit who came to us from the RSPCA when it became clear that she wasn’t suitable for a pet home. She was born in 2018 and was with the RSPCA for about nine months after having been found in a hotel lift injured, having been pecked by magpies:(
She is extremely nervous and prone to accelerating from nought to light speed in an instant and can climb walls in her anxiety to escape. We tried to bond her into a calm group of rabbits but if anything she was more scared of them than she is of us. We then had her in a combination hutch by herself. It is the largest space we can give her that she shouldn’t be able to escape from. We are hoping that she will become used to us over time. She eats well, which we know because all the food disappears and the poo pile grows but we simply don’t see her unless we go digging which she finds traumatic so we mostly leave her be for now. With the covers off the huches she has a better view of the other rabbits which may be helping her to get more used to them as well as to us moving about and we may find a suitable companion for her at some point, hopefully soon.
Nutbrown disappeared every time a human appeared for the first few years he was here but is now resigned to us and has had a good quality of life. So there is hope for her.
We decided to try a different approach and Caroline took her home to try interacting with more but she became very distressed living in a shed and having Caroline enter her space. She was literally climbing the walls and squeezing herself through incredibly small gaps in her desperation so she came back to her old hutch/run combo. At least in there she freezes when we interact with her instead of flinging herself around. So we learned a valuable lesson about what suits her and what doesn’t. What we need to do is extend her space to improve her quality of life without increasing the level of threat she experiences. Unfortunately this won’t be possible until we have fewer groups of rabbits as we don’t have any free space. Nor can we take in a potential partner for her as we wouldn’t have anywhere to put him if it failed. Unfortunately none of our singles are suitable for her. Ideally she needs a small confident nice tempered buck, a Nethie a mini rex or a Dutch perhaps.
Update: We found her a friend! She has been with Sparrow a little minilop buck with no front teeth. He is so sweet with her! We couldn’t have found a better one. He is sweet and friendly both with her and with people and is setting her such a good example that hopefully he will teach her how to become a happy rabbit.