Aanifeira is very fortunate to be located in a rural area on a large piece of land. The main pavilion shelter and veterinary clinic are located at the front of the land whilst the back area is empty land around which a small stream runs and still yet behind that, there is a large forest.
We had always thought that there was natural wildlife in the bushland behind the shelter area but it was with great surprise however when one day, just over nine months ago, a Dutch animal care volunteer found a tiny baby wild rabbit being attacked by rats! She quickly jumped in to save the little creature and bought it into the veterinary clinic for a checkup.
Other than a small injury to one of its ears, fortunately all was well with the rabbit and being so tiny it was difficult to detect its gender so it was baptized Roger. Roger took up residence at the shelter in the cattery and became a firm favourite with all. We were all concerned about trying to find a home for him because of his size so it was decided that he would have to wait for a few months until he could be neutered and we would take it from there.
Unfortunately Roger’s wild temperament didn’t allow him to make friends with humans and he always remained hidden away from view. We weren’t keen on encouraging too much human contact as well so that he could be homed back into a safe and natural environment with other wild rabbits.
Over the next few months, Roger grew into a really beautiful rabbit with the biggest brown eyes. Finally the time came when, vet Claudia decided that Roger needed to be neutered and when the vets went to pick him up in preparation for the operation they discovered that Roger was JESSICA, a female! She was consequently spayed and all went well.
Today Jessica awaits her new home on a small farm which an Aanifeira member has kindly offered her. It was been an interesting adventure for the staff at Aanifeira as we are used to dealing more with dogs and cats and this was a first handling a wild rabbit but after this experience, we’ll certainly be better prepared!