Dream Rabbit Paradise
When we made the first Runaround I was excited to watch the rabbits and see what suited them. I came from a view point of preferring all animals to be free ideally - living next to us in harmony - but of course the domesticated or even slightly tamed rabbits could never successfully join a warren and so the interest was to see how near to the natural state we could get by offering something similar.
Presently we keep our rescues inside our system of top Boxes, runs and tunnels because we are in a garden near a road. Previously we had use of a garden where they could be free during the day but with many hiding spaces. Rabbits aren't daft and they know they are someone's dinner if they don't take care so you would find them relaxing inside the system at noon and out of it when active.
If I could have my dream set up it would be a group of rabbits altogether with as much space as possible and sleeping quarters and hiding places all scattered about like separate warrens. They could meet each other but have private quarters with the rabbits they were closest to and only be inside when they wanted. I wonder if this would feel a bit like the freedom of wild bunnies and would they become further naturalised?
One surprise for me over the years has been that the rabbits we have kept as freely as possible did become rather tame and trusting of us. We didn't pick them up often and with very few exceptions they did not bite us when we did. It was rather as if we had recognised their needs and they responded to us like another animal who was well disposed to them!
You do hear of different wild animal species helping one another when in distress and this gives us all a really warm feeling. It is the respect and understanding that we are all vulnerable, all relying on earth and all able to sympathise one with the other. We can relate to it ourselves so easily.
Quite exciting to think we can try to meet the rabbits we save on their terms and learn more and more about them through having things done 'their way' rather than ours.