(Photo: Yana Paskova/New York Times)
Wild rabbits live in communities. They’re naturally social animals. Domesticated rabbits are no different—they want to live with other creatures, preferably other rabbits.
But not all rabbit pairs are good matches. That’s why Amy Odum of the Animal Care Centers of New York City arranges for housed rabbits to find good companions among the shelter rabbits that she cares for. The shelter on East 110th Street has a room set aside for dating encounters. Rabbit owners can bring their bunnies in to meet that special somebunny to complete their family. Odum watches the rabbits together to gauge their behavior. The New York Times describes the first date that rabbits Tonya and Moo had:
Tonya sat in a litter box chewing a stalk of hay. Moo stretched, twitching a little, and sniffed her face. Tonya was motionless. Moo jumped back.
“They’re both a little tense,” Ms. Odum said.
The goal, Ms. Odum had said, is not any sort of magical chemistry.
“What I’m looking for is peaceful coexistence,” she said. “We want acceptance of the other bunny in their space without any drama.”
After a while, Tonya hopped over to Moo and gave him a little kiss. He jumped over her like the cow over the moon. They broke into a playful chase, stopped, sniffed each other’s faces. Then Moo approached Tonya and lowered his head.
“That can be a submissive move,” Ms. Odum said. “On the other hand, it can be a demand by a superior to be groomed by a subordinate.”
Moo kept his head low, then pushed it into Tonya’s side. “She’s making him beg — it’s pretty pitiful,” Ms. Odum said.
-via Marginal Revolution