Rabbits are herbivores and mostly eat grasses and plants such as dandelions. They will dig tunnels (Warrens) in which to raise their young and hide from predators. They are quite sociable animals and these tunnels can house up to ten rabbits. Most people will call a baby rabbit a ‘bunny’ but the correct term is actually ‘kit’ or ‘kitten’. Males are called bucks and females are called does (just like some deer!). 

The Victorians were the first to keep rabbits as pets but they have been bred in captivity for meat and fur since the Roman era. They originally come from Europe but have been introduced to many other parts of the world by sailors. Although they may make cute pets, they are a highly destructive invasive species in many parts of the world. In Australia wild rabbits out-compete the native Australian marsupials and have caused such a big problem that they are now banned as pets in the state of Queensland.

Their natural range is in Spain, Portugal, and Morocco where their numbers are actually declining due to hunting so despite being common elsewhere in the world they have been classed as near threatened.

Scientific name
Oryctolagus cuniculus
1-2 years (wild) 7-10 years (pets)
Fast facts
Rabbits have large ears that help them hear predators approaching
There are over 300 breeds of pet rabbit
More than half of the worlds rabbits live in North America
Baby rabbits are born blind and bald
Rabbits are different from hares which are larger and live above ground.
Conservation status
Near threatened
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