Hoppy Hour: A "happy hour" with bunnies
|Why yes, this is a post with bunnies in Halloween costumes|
The biweekly event put on by MN Companion Rabbit Society provides rabbit owners with a chance to network and consult with experienced bunny enthusiasts while the animals themselves play and socialize in a neutral environment, effectively avoiding the stress that comes with being a tiny, territorial beast.
Last Sunday's fanfare yielded a turnout of over 80 rabbits, each hopping and flopping around in the mid-sized gymnasium room. Yes, that's right: over 80 rabbits. One volunteer estimated that with the staff's animals, that number could have been over 100.
|The bun-tastic scene|
Even when in an environment suited for playing, bunnies are still prey animals. Loud noises and fast movements spook them. This is something the coordinators of Hoppy Hour are well aware of. At one point during the event, a particularly rambunctious rabbit (costumed with a knight on its back) begins hurriedly darting back and forth across an eight-foot space. The antics incite a natural reaction of jubilant cheering and chatter before Barb, one of the gifted volunteers who runs the training sessions, addresses the crowd. "Folks, he's not happy; he's running scared," she says.
In perfect sync, the voices quiet and an air of calmness washes over the room, deescalating the furry panic attack.
|This little bunny got a little scared. Then he made a friend.|
While Barb, a former horse trainer, has a keen insight into the behaviors of the bunnies, Hoppy Hour still maintains its own police force. As the long-eared pals rarely forget a bad first impression, volunteers responsibly defuse altercations, wearing shirts that boldly display the word "BOUNCER" (just one of many irresistible puns that come up during the event).
|One man (in costume for Halloween) helps manage the bunny chaos|
Luckily, a guide was available to help me navigate the plethora of rabbit-specific terms and lessons. Volunteering as the public relations manager for the Minnesota Companion Rabbit Society (MCRS), Shelley boasts comprehensive biological facts and random trivia. Did you know that there are Danish Agility Championship competitions? Did you know that La Quinta Inn is the best place hang out with your rabbit in a hotel like some sort of baller super-villain?
Anyway, enjoy some photos of bunnies in costumes by photographer Adam Degross and Amanda Suchorski after the jump.