Saturday, April 27, 2013


The ancestral species for Domestic Rabbits, European Rabbit is the only Rabbit of her kind. Originally living only in the Western Mediterranean area, European Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus (which means “hare-like digger”)) was introduced throughout Europe by the Romans. Later the Normans bought Her to Great Britain. Because of her popularity as a food source, European Rabbit has been introduced places far from Europe. She was brought to hundred of islands as food for hungry sailors. Unfortunately now, European Rabbit is now considered a pest in Australia, New Zealand, the U.K. and the U.S.A. These countries now have programs to rid their lands of European Rabbit.

Unlike other Rabbits and Hares, European Rabbit is quite sociable, living in large colonies. Preferring to live close to home, She shares burrows with her Friends. Her colony (warren) is a network of tunnels, dens, bolt holes, and entrances to live in.

European Rabbit has ways of expressing her many moods in her colony. Her grunts mean, “I am unhappy. LEAVE ME ALONE.” When She is mad, European Rabbit thumps her hind feet. Feeling sassy, She will twitch her tail.

Christians associate much with European Rabbit. She stands for vigilance as well as dependence on Christ. There is an Easter Story of a young Rabbit who waited for his friend, Christ to return to the Garden of Gethsemane. After Christ rose, He returned to the Garden to visit his faithful little friend.

Because of European Rabbit’s social nature, She was domesticated as a pet for people. European Rabbit places trust in them to keep her safe. In the wild, She and her colony trust each other for security. A part of trust is faith as demonstrated by the Little Rabbit who waited for his Friend Jesus.

Conservation Note: It is illegal to own Rabbits in Australia and New Zealand.

European Rabbit Christian Symbols:
White one at Virgin Mary’s feet: Triumph over lust
Rabbit’s Warren: Christ’s Tomb
Rabbits munching on grapes: Saints in Heaven
Three Rabbits in a circle with their ears creating a shape of a triangle: Holy Spirit

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