Big Rabbits!!

I love this picture:

Check out the article:


German breeding super-sized rabbits to feed North Korea

by Cyril JulienSun Feb 11, 7:00 PM ET

In a small corner of the former East Germany, a retired truck driver is hoping to alleviate the hunger of North Korea with his super-sized rabbits.

Karl Szmolinsky, 67, has been breeding German grey giant bunnies — among the world’s biggest — for more than 40 years.

But he caught the attention of the reclusive communist state last year when he won a competition in his home state of Brandenburg with a rabbit called Robert, weighing in at a hefty 10.5 kilogrammes (23 pounds).

Local newspaper coverage of the giant bunny was picked up by a North Korean television crew and the word spread.

“A delegation from the North Korean embassy came to the house in November. They were interested in the rabbits and kept repeating in German, ‘kilo, kilo, meat, meat’,” Szmolinsky said.

The rabbits are startlingly big — roughly the size of a small pig.

“One adult animal can feed a family of six,” Szmolinsky said.

He struck a generous deal with the North Koreans, who bought 12 rabbits for 80 euros (104 dollars) each compared with the price he charges to German breeders of between 200 and 250 euros.

“I was delighted with their offer. I want to help the North Korean people because it’s a very poor country.

“I’m doing this for the children and the people who are hungry, because having lived through the war as a child I know what hunger is.”

North Korea was struck by famine in the mid-1990s which killed hundreds of thousands of people. Its citizens still suffer frequent food shortages, according to aid groups.

Although Szmolinsky admits he is nostalgic for the days of East German communism, he takes care to distance himself from the leaders of North Korea.

“The people are not in power. Instead of building bombs, the government should feed its people.”

The rabbits, including prize winner Robert, were shipped to a breeding farm near the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, in December. They are expected to produce about 60 babies a year between them.

As part of the deal, Szmolinsky also gave the North Korean delegation a breeding manual dating from 1959. “It’s still up-to-date. Not much has changed since then in the way rabbits are reared,” he said.

Giant rabbits have giant appetites — the fully-grown adults consume up to a kilogramme of food a day — but what they eat is available in North Korea.

“They told me they have enough rice, potatoes and grass. That should do,” Szmolinsky said.

“If they do things properly, if they look after the animals, they can succeed. But I won’t be able to tell for sure until I see for myself what they are doing.”

The North Koreans have offered to pay for him to visit the country to check the animals are breeding properly. The trip is planned for April, “but I haven’t had any word from the embassy for three weeks”, he said.

While he waits in hope for his visa, Szmolinsky is fielding interest from across the globe with officials from China and Peru also keen on his oversized bunnies.

So, essentially, they are breeding these rabbits to be feeder rabbits? Like feeder fish, but much bigger.

Melissa and I agree, we want one. We think that they would be a good big little brother to Peanut.


PS the last time I talked about rabbits this size was April of last year, check it out:

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