When Sian Huyser first moved to Noordhoek in 2017, she found out about the feral colonies of bunnies and how they were breeding too quickly. Often ending up as roadkill, she knew she wanted to do something to help these furry friends.
Huyser founded the Noordhoek Bunny Rescue organisation and decided to help all the bunnies in need, as she had previous experience as a bunny owner.
Nowadays, she receives approximately three calls a week to collect bunnies. These little creatures often make their way to the Noordhoek Bunny Rescue after their owners emigrate, when children lose interest in them as pets, when an accidental litter is born or when they are injured and found by the roadside.
Here’s one of their baby bunnies having his dinner.
With more bunnies being handed over to the sanctuary, space is becoming limited.
“I suppose you could say we rescue a couple a week and home one a week, that’s why the sanctuary keeps growing. However, we have reached capacity and do have a waiting list,” says Huyer.
While the organisation grows they are looking at ways to better incorporate the community and a volunteer programme is in the works. In the meantime, Huyser aims to educate the public on the dangers of supporting pet shops and backyard breeders, urging the community to be more aware of the bunny plight and spread the word.
“Once we have a volunteer programme, we will welcome people to spend time with the buns, help us clean and feed them. For now, we appreciate the community spreading the word about our cause. We want people to know that there is no reason to support backyard breeders and pet shops that sell rabbits when there are so many bunnies of different ages (babies to adult), colours and breeds available in rescue facilities. Our goal is to stop pet shops from selling rabbits as this is where the problem starts, and why there is a need for a rescue,” says Huyser.
A bunny family having supper:
Bunnies are hugely misunderstood and are often gifted to small children as pets without considering the level of care they need. They are the subjects of terrible neglect and mistreatment as they are often forgotten and disrespected.
Noordhoek Bunny Rescue aims to take in, sterilize, treat and rehome all bunnies in need as well as change the perceptions surrounding bunny care. A big part of their work includes educating people and putting an end to the pet shop selling of bunnies.