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Young rabbit doing well after airport bomb scare

July 4, 2018 Headline News No Comments Email Email

A smartly dressed young rabbit is dining on carrots and relaxing after triggering a bomb scare at Adelaide Airport.

A mysterious bag, discovered in the women’s toilets at the airport, caused a security scare last week when Australian Federal Police (AFP) called in the bomb squad to investigate – only to find the bag contained an abandoned rabbit.

The male rabbit, left inside a pink Lorna Jane bag, was smartly dressed in a red harness but had no other form of identification. He appears to be unharmed by his ordeal. He has not yet been claimed and has been nicknamed ‘Boeing’.

AFP officers called RSPCA South Australia’s animal ambulance after discovering the rabbit, with Rescue Officer Nalika Van Loenen bringing him back to RSPCA’s Stepney headquarters for safekeeping in a warm cage overnight.

“This is the first job of this kind that I’ve come across in my 26 years of service with RSPCA,” Rescue Officer Van Loenen said.

“The young male rabbit is clearly very well socialised and cared for. He is even harness trained.

“The police had put him in a large box and gotten some carrots from Subway, so he had some fresh shredded carrot to munch on while they waited for me to arrive.”

AFP Acting State Manager South Australia, Commander Brett McCann said: “This was certainly an unusual situation for the AFP.

“We treat everything in the aviation space very seriously, but our bomb appraisal officers certainly weren’t expecting to find a rabbit in unattended baggage. Thankfully the rabbit is safe and well, and hopefully the owner will be found.”

RSPCA South Australia is now appealing for information from anyone who may know how the dwarf rabbit, which is about one year old, came to be dumped at the airport. No one has claimed the rabbit, as of yesterday.

“A couple of scenarios came to mind – his owner could have been leaving the country and knew by leaving their pet in a populated area he would be found and cared for. Or they may have been planning on smuggling him on board a plane, but backed out at the last minute,” Van Loenen said.

“The pink Lorna Jane bag is very distinctive, so we really hope someone noticed it and saw something.”

Under South Australia’s Animal Welfare Act, it is illegal to abandon an animal. RSPCA South Australia urges members of the public to show compassion and never dump an animal.

“Rabbits are prey animals so they do get scared and stressed easily. He would have been very frightened,” Van Loenen said.

“The humane decision would have been to take the rabbit to an animal shelter during opening hours, where there are people who have the knowledge and capacity to take good care of them.”

Edited by Peter Needham

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