These bunnies cost a bundle
A rabbit was reportedly a factor in a criminal case in Boon Lay two weeks ago when a man got upset with his son for playing with the family's $3,000 pet rabbit and was later arrested for alleged child abuse. TNP finds out more about pricey rabbits...
It was a serious criminal case of a young boy allegedly abused by his father, who was then arrested.
But many netizens who read the story online were more interested in how the family's pet rabbit - apparently the spark that led to the alleged abuse - cost a whopping $3,000.
A check by The New Paper found that more expensive ones exist.
Rabbit Headquarters (RHQ), a pet shop in Pasir Ris Farmway, sold a Netherland Dwarf rabbit for $3,800 to a 35-year-old local businessman in November.
The buyer, who wanted to be known only as Joshua, said: "My wife loves rabbits and we agreed that we would only keep one, so we decided to go for a better, rarer rabbit.
"Initially, we were concerned about the price, but we felt that it was different and unlike those rabbits commonly seen in pet shops. We fell in love with it the moment we saw it because it was so cute and cuddly."
The 13-month-old rabbit, named BO, was raised by RHQ and was in two competitions in May last year, the UM 2nd International American Rabbit Breeders Association Rabbit Show & Symposium 2015 in Malaysia, and the National Rabbit & Cavy Show 2015 in Singapore.
It was awarded the best Netherland Dwarf in both competitions and was the second best rabbit overall in the Singapore show.
The top rabbit for 2015 in that competition was a Holland Lop rabbit, which also belongs to RHQ, which is keeping it.
An RHQ spokesman said: "This Netherland Dwarf is of superior quality, with very short stubby ears and a huge face.
"We are keeping the Holland Lop because its features are very nice and such rabbits are hard to come by."
Apart from a comment card given by the judges, from which the owners can learn about the quality of their rabbits, attractive goodie bags are given out during competitions as well.
The winner usually walks away with a hamper of rabbit treats and a cash prize, which is usually between $200 and $500.
The most common breeds of show rabbits in Singapore are the Netherland Dwarf, Holland Lop, Lionhead, Mini Rex, and Dwarf Hotot - with their origins from the United States.
But show rabbits are uncommon, with fewer than one in four of them in one litter.
"Show quality rabbits generally have a huge head with chubby full cheeks, short thick ears that are well positioned and also a short body," said the RHQ spokesman.
"When all these desirable traits come together, the rabbit looks massive, yet adorable."
Checks with other local pet shops have revealed that show rabbits can fetch prices of $1,000 and above.
Yet, the hefty price tags on these show rabbits do not seem to put Singaporeans off.
According to RHQ, the acceptance of show quality rabbits are better now because of education and sharing during exhibitions and show competitions.
RHQ sells 12 to 15 rabbits a month and about half of them are show rabbits.
In general, students and working adults in their 20s and 30s buy these show rabbits.
The spokesman said: "There are some animal lovers who appreciate a fine quality rabbit when they see one. A show quality rabbit generally has a huge and adorable face which make them more likeable and attractive.
"We are hopeful about the acceptance of show rabbit owners in Singapore."
About show rabbits
The American Rabbit Breeders Association recognises 49 unique breeds of rabbits worldwide.
One pet shop here, Rabbit Headquarters, has 12 breeds of rabbits, which they believe is the most number of breeds sold locally at any one shop.
The 12 breeds are: Netherland Dwarf, Holland Lop, Lionhead, Mini Rex, Dwarf Hotot, Dutch, Velveteen Lop, American Fuzzy Lop, Jersey Wooly, French Lop, Mini Lop, and the Flemish Giant.
Pure breeds of rabbits can cost from $350while the starting price for show rabbits are generally from $900, depending on the quality of the rabbit.
Some fun facts about show rabbits:
Lifespan: Eight years, on average.
Diet: Show-quality feed, as there is better conversion of nutrients, which aids their growth.
Maintenance: Supplements to enhance the rabbits' flesh and coat condition, and general supplements for their health.
Tricks they can do: Stand up, go towards you, clear obstacle courses, put a ball through a net like in basketball, spin, and so on. This is taught by using their favourite treats and a clicker.
Grooming: Different rabbits are groomed in varied ways. This helps in better coat maintenance.
Habitat: No special habitat required.
How to keep it healthy: Having a good digestive tract usually contributes to better health.
Feeding them digestive supplements and a type of grass known as Timothy Hay also helps.