Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Places I'm Glad I Don't Live #1...

....anywhere near where this monster crocodile was found! Captured in the Philippines, this enormous salt water crocodile weighs an amazing 1075 kilos and measures 6.4 meters in length. So far it's being hailed as the biggest croc ever caught, and almost a meter longer than the previous Guinness World Records holder 'Cassius' from Australia. See that little guy behind him? That's a fully grown man. Looks like you'd fit a few of him inside this beasty.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Well Hello........Dumpling!

As you know, a couple of weeks ago our beloved rabbit Rocco died, passing away in his sleep at the grand old age of 10.5 years. When you have pets you know one day they'll be gone, but with rabbits you also have to accept that you'll have to find a new mate for the remaining bunny fairly quickly too. Rabbits are very social animals who shouldn't be kept alone, and the day after Rocco died we could see that Punky Muffin was very nervous and unsure of the changed situation. I prepared for a trip to Eindhoven to the rabbit rescue centre run by my friend Liesbeth, Opvang Franky, to find a suitable match for our widowed Madam P Muffin.
Fate, however, intervened.
Rocco died on a Wedneday, we buried him in the garden with tears and flowers on Thursday, and on Friday a new rabbit appeared in the garden. You could call it coincidence, or serendipity, or karma...we decided to call it Dumpling.

This little guy is a young buck who was in all likelihood dumped by his owners because they couldn't be bothered arranging for someone to look after him while they went on holiday. One of the next door neighbours kids found him in front of their house, frightened, hungry, thirsty and wondering how he'd gone from family pet to tossed away garbage in the space of a day. Assuming it was one of ours, the neighbour plopped him into the garden to the surprise of Punky Muffin who thankfully decided to make friends rather than attack him. I made enquiries at the vet, local petshop, and posted him on the website for lost and found animals in Holland called Amivedi, but no-one was looking for him.  A wee dumped man, Dumpling seemed the perfect name. It's also what Liesbeth calls the many 'second hand' rabbits she rescues and re-homes every year, the cast-offs of a society that thinks animals are a disposal item to be used for our entertainment until boredom sets in then thrown away under the guise of being 'set free'.  Domestic rabbits can NOT survive in the wild; they are very easy targets for cats, dogs, mean kids, cars, disease, starvation and dehydration. Even if they survive those things there is a good chance the local wild rabbits will attack and kill them to defend their territory and as for the freezing snowy winters....a definite death sentence.
Anyway, as Niels pointed out, we were lucky to have this little guy turn up, and he was extremely lucky to have been rescued in time, so his full name is Lucky Dumpling. Personlly I think it sounds like something you'd order with a side of fried rice from the local Chinese takeway, but he did have a point, so Lucky Dumpling it is. He's settled in nicely and can be seen - now minus his balls - racing around the garden all day and generally creating havoc. He's a very strange mix of colours and textures and clearly there wasn't too much planned parenting going on when he was bred. It looks like he's been held under his armpits and dunked into a glass of milk, and his fur is a mixture of long, short and in-between lengths. However we of course think he's perfect.