I have read an article about a pet rabbit in the UK who is believed to be about 16 years old. From the tip of his grey ears to his tail, Hazel the rabbit looked every inch the sprightly young buck as he posed for his photograph with his owners.
He is quite possibly the oldest living rabbit in Britain, if not the world, because the average lifespan of a rabbit is normally just six to eight years.
I myself had a rabbit named Bill who lived to be 11 years old. He started off his life with another rabbit in a small hutch in a garden down the road from where our family lived. His owner was a young girl who wasn’t interested in the rabbits after the initial novelty of them wore off. As the rabbits grew, the hutch did not and my own daughter always felt very sorry for them. As winter folded in, the poor rabbits had no rabbit hutch cover over their rabbit hutch and one of them died as a result of severe cold.
My daughter asked the girl if she wanted the black rabbit and she replied “No, take it!” so Bill came to live with us at the age of about 3. He was loved and cared for by our family and loved to hop around in the garden during the better months and in the shed during the colder months.
At 11 years old he unfortunately developed cancer in his leg and had to be put to sleep as a result. The vet informed us that Bill was the oldest rabbit he had ever come across and it proved to us that the right care and attention had paid off.
Apparently, Officials at Guinness World Records are now waiting to talk to Hazel’s owners who live in Pulham Market, to find out if he is indeed a the oldest rabbit in Britain and a record-breaker.
The oldest rabbit alive on record until last year was George, who was born in March 1994 and was owned by a couple in Massachusetts, USA. He was declared the oldest living rabbit in the world by the Guinness Book of World Records after several vets confirmed his age as 14 years, as of March 13, 2008.
Hazel’s owners remembered their grand-daughter bringing the rabbit home when she was about six years old and she’s now 22 years old, so by their estimation Hazel must be about 15 or 16 years old.
Hazel has apparently gone through 3 house moves and has outlived his original rabbit hutch.
It is a well known fact that rabbits who are well looked after have plenty of exercise either in a rabbit run or in the garden and are fed the correct, healthy diet they require will live longer than rabbits who are cooped up in small rabbit hutches and do not have any exercise or much contact with their owners.
Hazel has proved this and we at ideas-4-pets hope he still has many happy, healthy years to come.