Jude Streicek Williams

Surprise pets provide learning opportunity for local daycare

The Dragonfly Discovery Centre in Radium Hot Springs has had a rabbit-filled winter.

The Dragonfly Discovery Centre in Radium Hot Springs has had a rabbit-filled winter.

“It’s been a blessing in disguise. The kids have gotten so much out of the rabbits. They build learning and a sense of wonder in the kids,” said Dragonfly daycare owner Charlotte Streicek.

Streicek bought two rabbits for the centre from a pet store in Cranbrook last fall and was told that the rabbits were the same sex and that they had been neutered.

Much to her surprise — and the delight of the kids at Dragonfly — it turned out the rabbits were indeed of opposite gender, with the moment of discovery coming when the female adult rabbit gave birth to a batch of baby bunnies on Friday, December 5th. A second batch followed five weeks later, and then a third, for a total of 22 baby bunnies during the course of the winter.

The Cranbrook pet store then paid for the adult rabbits to be neutered and several agencies have stepped in to help the baby rabbits find homes, including the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), and the local branch of the Global Animal Lovers Society (GALS). The Little Mittens Animal Rescue Association has recently taken on the third batch and will be adopting them out just in time for Easter, leaving the centre with its two original rabbits.

“It was a surprise, but it’s funny how things work out. Looking back on it it was pretty fun. The bunnies were incredible,” said Steicek. “It was great for the kids and we all learned quite a lot about rabbits. They mate for life and they get emotionally attached to each other. Ours snuggle and they seem pretty happy. They’re great pets. Ours are litter training and they really are interesting to watch. They are constantly wrinkling their noses and chewing lettuce.”

To learn more about Dragonfly and its rabbits check out www.dragonflydiscoverycentre.com.

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