WOLFEVILLE – Call it a case of bunnynapping.
Workers at Hennigar’s Farm Market in Wolfeville say that four bunnies have gone missing from a rabbit area at an adjacent park and trail.
Leah Reagh, who has worked closely with the bunnies for the past four years and calls them her pets, says that two three-week old bunnies were taken Tuesday night and another two were stolen Wednesday night.
There used to be 11 bunnies and two adults in the rabbit area, which has a wire roof and locked pens in the back. The area is always locked except for when workers go in to feed the animals.
However Reagh says someone tore off the door to the pen and grabbed two bunnies Tuesday night.
“I noticed that somebody had ripped it open and you normally need a screwdriver to get the screws out [of the door],” she said. “It would have had to be somebody with muscles to get that open.”
Reagh believes whoever took the bunnies must have had a conscience because a rock was propped up against the door, a sign that she says they did not want the other bunnies to escape.
But the bunnynapping didn’t stop there.
Reagh says that two more bunnies were found missing the following day.
She says that a lock to a rabbit pen had been cut and someone had tied a piece of grass around where the lock used to be, possibly to prevent other bunnies from escaping.
“The two that were missing meant the most to me. They had a future ahead of them. I was going to use them for therapy work,” she said.
Reagh says that she panicked after learning two more bunnies had been stolen, which is why she posted an ad on the buy-and-sell website Kijiji.
“I hope that the people who stole the rabbits will return them. These guys are like my pets. It’s devastating to know that somebody went out of their way to steal something that meant so much to me.”
Friend Allan Sarson says he can see the effect the stolen bunnies is having on Reagh.
“She’s been in tears a lot. That’s all she cares about: the rabbits and their well-being,” he said.
“It certainly affects Leah. It affects her work. It affects her thinking.”
He is crossing his fingers the bunnies will be returned safely.
“Hopefully it’s just a prank. Once the novelty wears off, hopefully they’ll bring the rabbits back.”
The park has been in the Wolfeville community for more than 10 years, and the rabbit area is well-known and frequently visited.
Jeff and Sandra Tait brought their baby boy Finley to see the animals on Saturday.
“We stopped here for a snack and we thought we’d stop here to see the bunnies,” Sandra said.
They were shocked to hear of the news that four bunnies had been taken from the pen.
“I just don’t understand what kind of desperate person would come and take that away from everybody else in the community,” Jeff said. “They’re here for a reason, for everybody else to share.”
“Finley loved going to see the rabbits. I’m sure most of the kids in the community love to come visit the bunnies as well,” Sandra said.
Though there is a lot of outrage over the stolen bunnies, owner Heather Hennigar says that there are no plans to alert the RCMP.
She says that with all the media attention the stolen bunnies are getting, it is more likely for someone from the general public rather than the RCMP to spot the bunnies.
“I think that’s going to be a better tool then the RCMP because where do they start to look? If people hear about it, know about it, maybe they can give us a clue of where those bunnies are and we might be able to get them back.”
Hennigar says that staff will be keeping an eye on the rabbit area but there are no concrete plans to increase security or surveillance.