The “Frankenstein” rabbit is the star of a video going viral on the Internet this week, but once more information about the little beast came out, some of the video’s plaudits turned to sour criticism.
Some background: A southern Minnesota college student named Gunnar Boettcher and his brother recorded the video of the “Frankenstein” rabbit on June 26, framing it like a spoof of a Steve Irwin wildlife clip.
In the video, titled “The World’s Scariest Rabbit,” Boettcher (using an Australian accent) narrates the duo’s discovery of the rabbit, which has what appears to be “horns” growing out of its head and face.
The video was posted to Facebook and later Reddit, where it racked up 200,000 views.
Boettcher doesn’t do anything to try and hurt the rabbit, which he thinks suffers from papilloma virus, a form of cancer. But since he makes light of the animal’s condition, many commentators have criticized him for getting a few laughs out of the animal’s terminal illness.
In response to his critics, Boettcher said:
“It’s a great idea to try to help him and make him healthy again, but it’s a little ridiculous to blame me for not helping the rabbit and taking him to the vet when it’s a wild rabbit,” he said. “It’s turning into a thing on animal rights… it was just supposed to be something fun between me and my brother.”
Joe Stangel, area wildlife supervisor for the state Department Natural Resources, said that he also suspects that the “Frankenstein” rabbit suffers from papilloma virus, which is generally fatal. He noted that the DNR will just let nature take its course.