Do the photos show a giant Sumatran striped rabbit saved from being sold on Facebook?

In April 2022, a series of photographs went viral on social media, supposedly showing a very rare Sumatran striped rabbit that was rescued by authorities after being listed for sale on Facebook:

The Facebook post reads: “A Sumatran striped rabbit, widely believed to be the rarest rabbit in the world, was rescued from this man after he put it up for sale on Facebook. The Sumatran Striped Rabbit [sic] is one of the rarest breeds of rabbits [sic]. The rare rabbit has now been released safely back into the forest by park rangers where he is being watched very well by cameras.

This caption does not match this set of photos. The animal in these photographs is not an extremely rare Sumatran striped rabbit.

A Rare Sumatran Striped Rabbit (Not Pictured Above) Was Really Saved

Months before these photographs went viral, a Sumatran striped rabbit – an endangered species of rabbit found in Indonesia – was genuinely rescued by authorities after the animal was offered for sale on Facebook.

In August 2021, Fauna & Flora International (FFI), an international conservation society dedicated to protecting the planet’s endangered wildlife, announced that it, together with Kerinci Seblat National Park, had saved one of these rare rabbits and that he would soon be released. back to nature:

Sumatran striped rabbits are rarely spotted, in both senses of the word. Known only from a dozen Dutch museum specimens collected in the early 20th century, plus an occasional sighting in the wild and a handful of camera trap images, the species is widely considered the rarest rabbit in the world. world. Finding one posted on Facebook is the Indonesian equivalent of coming across a thylacine in a Tasmanian pet store, and the conservation community was quick to respond.

After receiving a warning about the Facebook post, Fauna & Flora International (FFI) and Kerinci Seblat National Park authorities quickly tracked down the potential seller and rescued the priceless rabbit, which was held in safekeeping until that he is ready to be released.

Here is a photo of the Sumatran striped rabbit that was actually saved from being sold on Facebook:

What about pictures of giant rabbits?

the Sumatran Striped Rabbit only grows to about 16 inches in length and is clearly not shown in the viral Facebook photographs at the top of this page. So, what kind of rabbit is depicted in these photos? And, more importantly, are the photos real?

While many social media users have claimed that the photos of giant rabbits have been digitally altered, this is not the case. These are real photographs of a very large rabbit. Although it’s possible that some forced perspective is at play here – an optical trick where an object is made to appear larger than it really is by being placed closer to the camera than other objects in the frame – this rabbit is still quite large.

These photographs were posted to a Facebook group of rabbit breeders in the Philippines in February 2022 and appear to show a man holding a German Gray Giant, a species of rabbit that can reach nearly 3 feet in length and can weigh up to 25 pounds.

Here’s a CBC video of other big bunnies:


Sources:

“Chú thỏ gây sốt cõi mạng vì ‘siêu to khổng lồ’, netizen nhận xét ‘Chiếc pet này cục súc quá!’ » Học Điện Tử Cơ Bản, March 4, 2022, https://hocdientucoth. -gay-sot-coi-mang-vi-sieu-to-khong-lo-netizen-nhan-xet-chiec-pet-nay-cuc-suc-qua/.

“Does this photograph show a 110-pound squirrel?” Snopes.Com, https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/110-pound-squirrel/. Accessed April 8, 2022.

Donovan, Dave. “Behavior and Needs of the German Giant Rabbit.” LoveToKnow, https://small-pets.lovetoknow.com/rabbits/german-giant-rabbits. Accessed April 8, 2022.

Meet the biggest bunnies in the world. www.youtube.com, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbDqzvh5oAs. Accessed April 8, 2022.

“Sumatra Sensation – World’s Rarest Rabbit Spotted on Facebook.” Fauna & Flora International, August 6, 2021, https://www.fauna-flora.org/news/sensation-in-sumatra-worlds-rarest-rabbit-spotted-on-facebook-2/.

“Species of the Week: Sumatran Striped Rabbit.” EDGE of Existence, June 11, 2012, https://www.edgeofexistence.org/blog/species-of-the-week-sumatran-striped-rabbit/.

Whitlock, Craig. A colossal act of faith in the fight against famine. February 2, 2007. www.washingtonpost.com, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/01/AR2007020101797.html.

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