A TEAM of animal lovers hopped down to a field near Barrhead at the weekend to rescue a family of abandoned bunnies.

Seven domestic rabbits were found living in the grounds of West Hurlet House, on the outskirts of town.

It is thought they were dumped there when they were no longer wanted by their owners.

The rescue mission involved volunteers from Baby Blue Bees Bunnies Rescue (BBBB) – a welfare organisation which aims to rescue and rehome rabbits across Scotland.

Two adult bunnies and a nest of five kittens – the term used for baby rabbits – were taken to safety.

Barrhead News:

Claire Collins, a volunteer for BBBB, told the Barrhead News: “There were seven domestic rabbits in total, living in the grounds at West Hurlet House.

“We think they have been dumped and, through Baby Blue Bees Bunnies, we arranged with the owners of the grounds to rescue them.

“We were made aware that rabbits had been living wild at that location for a couple of years.

“Myself and a couple of volunteers managed to rescue the two adults. We then discovered they had a nest of babies – five wee kittens that we knew nothing about.

“So far, we have rehomed three of the seven rabbits and we’re going to make a second attempt to find homes for the other four.”

Unlike rabbits that were born in the wild, domesticated rabbits face a struggle for survival if abandoned.

Experts say that, once a domesticated rabbit is ‘set free,’ the animal may well dig a burrow but that is about as far as its survival skills would go.

Important instincts and physical characteristics that protect rabbits in the wild have been watered down by several generations of domestication.

Claire added: “We really want to raise awareness that people should take unwanted rabbits to shelters, rather than setting them free in the wild.”

To find out more about the work done by BBBB or if you can offer a home to a rescued rabbit, visit here.