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Wild Rabbits Hitch a Ride on Sheep to Avoid Flood Waters


A 64-year-old farmer named Ferg Horne was trying to bring his neighbor’s sheep to safety amidst rising flood waters at their South Island farm near Dunedin, New Zealand, when he noticed some black spots on the sheep. Horne had been curious as he was well aware that his neighbor’s sheep were all pure white. When he finally got a better view, however, he realized that the black shapes were actually three wild rabbits clinging desperately on the wool of the sheep using their paws.

wild rabbits

Richard Horne

Two of the bunnies were at the back of one sheep, while one rabbit was riding on the back of another sheep.

“I’ve never seen anything like it, they were just sitting there keeping out of the water, they must have got to the high spot and then jumped up on to the back of the sheep to stay dry,” Horne said in an interview with The Guardian. “It shows you how resilient they are and why they survive so well,” he added.

Knowing that it would be difficult for him to share with people the unique incident without proof, he made sure that he captured it on video.

Horne told the Associated Press that while the rabbits were wet they appeared to be comfortable with their ride and when he brought the flock to safer and drier ground, the rabbits did their best to hold on so they wouldn’t fall.

“As they [sheep] jumped through the water, the rabbits had a jolly good try at staying on,” said Horne.

Farmers in New Zealand consider wild rabbits as pests and shooting these furry creatures to minimize their damage had always been common. Horne even admitted that he doesn’t hesitate to shoot a rabbit on sight but he was willing to exempt the three rabbits who tried hard to survive.

“They’d showed so much initiative, I thought they deserve to live, those rabbits,” Horne said.

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