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Hundreds of rabbits hit as roof caves in

Hundreds of rabbits hit as roof caves in

Published: 20 Feb 2010 11:11 GMT+01:00
Updated: 20 Feb 2010 12:42 GMT+01:00

A roof collapsed on Sweden's largest rabbit show in the early hours of Saturday morning leaving more than a thousand furry animals trapped inside the building.

Described by the UK's Fur and Feather magazine as "the biggest show in Sweden", the Nyköping exhibition, 100 kilometres south of Stockholm, had attracted 1,648 rabbits and their owners to the local tennis hall.

"It was very, very fortunate that the collapse happened at night. If there had been people in the building they would probably not all have survived," rescue coordinator Lars Ahlgren told local newspaper Södermanlands Nyheter.

The roof and one of the gable walls of Rosvalla tennis hall gave way at 1.30am on Saturday. Police have not yet fully established the cause of the collapse, though heavy snowfall is being considered a fairly safe bet.

The tennis hall was locked at the time of the collapse. Fortunately, a dance event organized by the local rabbit owners' association was taking place in a separate building.

Police said many rabbit owners remained outside the tennis tall at 6 o'clock in the morning.

"There are a lot of sad rabbit owners at the scene. We've been focussing on making sure that none of them try to get in to the rabbits. There is a risk of further collapses," police inspector Urban Nordqvist told Södermanlands Nyheter.

Lars Ahlgren said around half of the rabbit cages were located under the section of roof that had collapsed.

"The rest of the cages are at the other side and we're going to try to lift those out mechanically," he told news agency TT.

"We're not going to attempt to rescue the rabbits under the collapse, since that would mean sacrificing attempts to save the rabbits that we know are still alive."

Exhibition organizer Johnny Johansson (pictured) was in place to welcome the first rabbit that managed to make its way out of the wreckage. But it is not yet known how many rabbits died when the roof caved in.

"There are pockets where the rabbits are hiding," rescue worker Ulf Jämtäng told TT.

"Some of them are finding open slots and getting out; we're catching rabbits all the time."

All escaped rabbits are being placed in hutches outside the exhibition area.

TT/Paul O'Mahony (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

11:49 February 20, 2010 by Nemesis
Rabbit stew.

If I lived beside that my freezer would be very quickly filled.
12:18 February 20, 2010 by zircon
Great for a laugh you, yes you..
12:19 February 20, 2010 by bobalong
My thoughts exactly! Ha Ha

I was just thinking, mmmm rabbit stew, waste not want not! I know they are show rabbits but I bet they taste the same! Ha Ha
12:44 February 20, 2010 by Nemesis
@ bobalong

Wild is better.

Show animals have a lot of fat on them and don't taste as good.
12:58 February 20, 2010 by bobalong
Nemesis, you are obviously an expert between the two and can only surmise that the local rabbit population has diminished since you moved in! Ha Ha

Have the pet rabbits of the local kids less appeal? Ha Ha

Pampered pet rabbits unlike the wild type just sit there and eat and have no threat upon them. Wild however, are constantly on the look out for danger and therefore get more exercise I guess so are leaner and have more muscle.

If the current crisis continues there will be a sudden diminish of the wild rabbit population and the chasing of pet rabbits around the garden to make them leaner and tastier will become a national sport!
13:27 February 20, 2010 by Steggles
The poor things.......but I bet there will be lots of unplanned pregnancies from those surviving & escaping!
13:45 February 20, 2010 by Nemesis
@ bobalong

In Ireland and Scotland rabbit is very common in stew.

Best thing to do is marinate it in beer, cider or wine. Mjöd is brilliant for marinating. Then cook.

The local population has not diminished since I moved to Sverige:)

@ Steggles

Good point. More food in future:)

Rabbit butty:)
14:14 February 20, 2010 by V8farty
Can't they just burrow out?
14:15 February 20, 2010 by Steggles
Well those rabbits on the loose aren't gonna sit around and wait to be rescued......they will be doing what comes naturally.....'making babies'.
14:40 February 20, 2010 by Miss Kitten
Bye bye baby bunting.

Daddy's gone a hunting,

To find a little rabbit skin,

To wrap the baby bunting in.

Sorry ...actually I do feel bad for the poor bunnies. Rabbit stew sounds good, though.
15:55 February 20, 2010 by Roger O. Thornhill
Apparently not the same folks who incinerate rabbits for fuel.
19:41 February 20, 2010 by mannorun
If i were beside, i shoulld have been roasting some of the rabbits by now.hahaha

Roasted rabbit oh boy with some fried potatoes could make more sense than putting the rabbits on the course for performance..
21:10 February 20, 2010 by bobalong
The last time I was in the Uk they were selling rabbit in Tescos too. Thought | would give it a go but just did not get time so I cannot say if it is worth buying. I guess it will be farmed stuff and less tasty than the wild stuff. My brother gets his own and has done for years.

He is still alive and kicking although he has started to stay stock still if a light is suddenly turned on in the house! Ha ha!

The next time I am in the Uk, I will see if they still sell it and try doing a stew.

I have never seen it for sale here though.
23:12 February 20, 2010 by dahaviland
I hope Bugs Bunny wasn't there. Elmer Fudd would sure be sad.
01:40 February 21, 2010 by norling
Reminds me of a cartoon I saw years ago of two rabbits in a cage at a veterinarians office watching the vet doing his assistant and one says I wonder how they can enjoy it doing it so slow.
12:52 February 21, 2010 by hilt_m
awwwwwwww poor bunnies :(
18:46 February 21, 2010 by Storröd
"Waiter theres a hair in my stew"

"no sir its just a large rabbit"

..... i'll get my coat
18:32 February 22, 2010 by zeulf
Hej Storrod From what movie? Bugs Bunny? But funny none the less
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