A giant continental rabbit named Atlas has suffered the same fate as many puppies, who grew too big for their unsuspecting owners to handle.
At only seven months old, the rabbit just kept growing and growing until he was the size of a small dog; the Guardian said he’s about the size of a west highland terrier — about a foot long and 15 pounds.
Atlas will get much, much bigger. These rabbits can grow up to weigh 44 pounds and measure four feet long, and they eat a massive amount of food: a bale of hay a week, along with 2,000 carrots and 700 apples a year.
Understandably, this was far too much bunny for his previous owners to handle. So, they passed the giant continental on to the care of the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
The group has been charged with helping him find a new home, but they are setting the standard very high. Not just anyone can take on a giant continental rabbit, and they seem determined to make sure the big bunny’s next owners are up to the challenge and intend to keep the animal for life.
Since their appeal was announced, the bunny and his absolutely adorable face have gone viral worldwide, no doubt inspiring many pet lovers to offer their hearts and homes to the animal. But he requires a larger-than-normal hutch to accommodate his larger-than-normal size, and plenty of space to roam (or hop) around.
The SPCA also wants the pet to go home with someone who’s taken care of a giant continental rabbit before. No newbies, please — Atlas is not your average bunny.
Though he’ll clearly require someone with enough commitment to take him in, the giant continental rabbit sounds like a real sweetheart and an excellent pet. SPCA Manager Anna O’Donnell described the creature in loving terms.
“Atlas is already about the size of a westie and is still young with some growing to do. He is a very friendly rabbit who loves attention and getting cuddles. (He) is also an inquisitive boy who makes everyone laugh with his mischievous character.”
As of Wednesday, it wasn’t clear if anyone has claimed him yet, but one person — and a celebrity, no less — has already come forward hoping to take on the job.
That hopeful owner is a former model and animal lover named Katie Price, who took to Twitter to put her name in the running to take in Atlas.
Wanted: home for giant rabbit that could grow to 1.2m long | UK news | The Guardian!We will have rabbit if not gone https://t.co/dsUrJANuXC— Katie Price (@MissKatiePrice) February 9, 2016
According to the Evening Standard, Price, 37, offered to be his new owner after hearing the story. Her place is already full of other animals, so he would have plenty of friends — pigs, chickens, goats, horses, and dogs.
In fact, taking this bunny home could fulfill a lifelong dream for the model. She’s loved the pets since she was a kid, and once forged her mother’s signature on a check in order to buy one at a local pet shop.
“I thought to myself, ‘I’m going to have that rabbit’, and when we got home I found Mum’s (check) book and wrote out and signed one in her name for the price of the rabbit. I posted it off to the pet shop and they phoned back a few days later and asked to check some details with my mum. I was grounded for a week.”
Atlas doesn’t hold a carrot to the world’s biggest rabbit. That honor goes to Darius, who weighs as much as a 6-year-old child and grew to almost four-and-a-half feet long, The Telegraph added. As a giant continental, both bunnies are among the largest and oldest breed of rabbits. They’re descended from the ancient Flemish giant, possibly created by mating fur and meat breeds.
[Photo via YouTube]