On June 27, an abandoned shopping bag in a woman’s restroom at Australia’s Adelaide Airport had security agents up in arms. The authorities feared they could be contending with an explosive device. Yet, lo and behold, the bag contained nothing more than a frightened bunny.
“We treat everything in the aviation space very seriously, but our bomb appraisal officers certainly weren’t expecting to find a rabbit in unattended baggage,” Commander Brett McCann said, adding that it was “certainly an unusual situation.”
Despite the uproar, the deserted hare, a male dwarf rabbit, was fine. Though he was wearing a red harness, he had no visible identification. The police turned him over to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) officials.
“This is the first job of this kind that I’ve come across in my 26 years of service with RSPCA,” responder Nalika Van Loenen said. “The young male rabbit is clearly very well socialized and cared for. The police had put him in a large box and gotten some carrots from Subway, so he had some fresh shredded carrot to munch on while they waited for me to arrive.”
So far, nobody has claimed the cute bunny, yet he seems to be in good hands with the RSPCA.
“Don’t worry, be hoppy, the bunny is in the safe care of RSPCA South Australia and is no worse fur wear. He doesn’t seem to carrot all about all the fuss. Lettuce hop someone can help find out who abandoned him at the hareport,” the South Australian police wrote on Facebook.
The RSPCA is asking for help in locating the owner of the one-year-old rabbit. “A couple of scenarios came to mind — his owner could have been leaving the country and knew by leaving their pet in a populated area he would be found and cared for. Or they may have been planning on smuggling him on board a plane, but backed out at the last minute,” Van Loenen said. “The pink Lorna Jane bag is very distinctive, so we really hope someone noticed it and saw something.”
Under South Australia’s Animal Welfare Act, abandoning an animal is illegal. “Rabbits are prey animals so they do get scared and stressed easily. He would have been very frightened,” Van Loenen said. “The humane decision would have been to take the rabbit to an animal shelter during opening hours, where there are people who have the knowledge and capacity to take good care of them.”
Anyone with information regarding the young rabbit is asked to call contact the RSPCA South Australia’s 24-hour cruelty report hotline at this link.