Many kinds of wildlife can be found in Bishan Park, but you would not expect to find rabbits roaming there.
Mr Andrew Chua, 27, was crossing an overhead bridge towards Bishan Park to walk his dog at about 11pm last Friday when he spotted what he thought was a cat.
"When I got closer, I realised it was a rabbit. It hopped to the side of the pathway and when I peered over the fence, I saw another three or four rabbits on the grass," recounted the corporate executive.
He contacted his cousin, Mr Roy Wu, 30, a site coordinator, who went to the park to help him catch the rabbits.
Mr Chua recounted: "It was my first time coming across domesticated animals being discarded like this. I was worried for the rabbits."
He suspects that the animals were abandoned that very night as he did not come across any rabbits when he walked his dog on the same route the night before.
Armed with just a torchlight and a pet carrier, Mr Chua and Mr Wu spent about 45 minutes among a large patch of ferns at Bishan Park II near Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1 trying to find the rabbits.
They only managed to catch three rabbits because it was too dark to catch the rest, which had wandered inside the vegetation.
MORE RABBITS CAUGHT
They contacted private rabbit rescue group Bunny Wonderland that night. The pair returned to the same area the next day with a few members of the group and caught three more rabbits.
Bunny Wonderland representative Lynne Tan, 31, said: "We usually see about two abandonment cases a month, but the number of rabbits abandoned each time varies. The most we rescued at one go was 40, after a pet shop closed down.
"We have found rabbits in all sorts of places, such as trash bins or in boxes left beside rubbish chutes and in community centres."
The exact number of rabbits abandoned is unknown, but the group suspects that apart from the six found, there might be at least one more.
They speculate that the culprit who abandoned the rabbits could be a breeder trying to get rid of unwanted stock because two of the six found were pregnant.
Those rescued are all pure breed lionhead rabbits, which are quite expensive at up to $900 each at local pet shops, said Ms Tan.
Two out of six of the rabbits have been adopted, and the rest are either recovering or have been put in foster homes for the time being.
Rabbit welfare group House Rabbit Society Singapore said it sees about two to three cases of rabbits being abandoned or given away each week.
"After the school holidays and before Chinese New Year, we can easily see about one to three cases daily. And it's not just one rabbit per case, sometimes you get multiple rabbits," said its president, Ms Betty Tan, 29.
This article was first published on June 21, 2014.
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