Elderly man rescues dumped rabbits

2017-01-10 09:49
Sisters, Mary (16) and Rachel Wheeler (11), hold two of four bunnies they helped

Sisters, Mary (16) and Rachel Wheeler (11), hold two of four bunnies they helped (Thabang Mathebula)

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A compassionate retired accountant, John Wilsworth (80), did not think twice about saving four domestic rabbits from certain death in the forest near his home.

Wilsworth, a Winterskloof resident, believes the fluffy bunnies were dumped by an irresponsible owner and were left to fend for themselves in the bush for at least two days before he came along.

On Monday at his home, where he temporarily accommodated them, he said the bunnies were not likely to survive another day in the wild habitat.

At least four of the dumped rabbits had already been killed by dogs and one by an eagle before he could rescue them.

Wilsworth is looking for a responsible pet lover to adopt them at no cost.

The pensioner said he had been taking his routine walk in the bush in his neighbourhood, along with his dogs, when he spotted a herd of rabbits in the plantation near his home.

To prevent the rabbits from being preyed upon by his own dogs, he returned home instantly when his dogs began barking at them aggressively.

“Whoever dumped the rabbits had tried to build some sort of a shelter for them using sticks and branches. One of the rabbits was found in this makeshift shelter.

“They were clearly not wild. When I returned to rescue them, their number had increased and I called my neighbours for help. They did not hesitate to help me,” said Wilsworth

“This is a good lesson to people not to take on animals unless they are able to look after them. It was a cowardly move by whoever dumped them. How were they going to survive? They would have been killed by dogs within 24 hours,” he said.

• If any reader knows who dumped the rabbits in the Winterskloof plantation, please contact Thabang Mathebula at the e-mail address below.

• thabang.mathebula@witness.co.za

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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