By Sabina Mollot
Stuyvesant Town residents have been wondering about the origins of a bunny that appeared in the neighborhood over the holiday weekend.
On Sunday, the critter was seen outside Ess-a-Bagel on First Avenue. One resident, Lola Franco, told Town & Village the bunny seemed fine when she went to scoop it up so she left it be, later hearing that ST/PCV Public Safety officers had managed to capture it. However, she later went back for it, concerned that the creature could end up euthanized at a shelter. She brought it home and a few hours later, her daughter, who works at the nearby ABC Animal Hospital, took the bunny to work with her for a checkup.
“I’m sorry I didn’t keep it,” Franco admitted. “He was cute.”
The following day, another resident posted on the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association Facebook page about a gray and white bunny sighting at 20th Street and First Avenue. Franco said this was after the other bunny had been caught she didn’t think it was the same bunny seen by different people.
After posting about the sightings on local social media accounts, it still isn’t clear if the animals were lost or abandoned pets.
Rick Hayduk, general manager of Stuyvesant Town, confirmed that public safety had secured the bunny before turning it over to Franco, but said so far no resident has reported one missing.
An employee at Petland in Stuyvesant Town said the bunnies weren’t escapees from the store, though. According to the employee, it’s illegal to sell bunnies in New York City, so they aren’t kept at the business, even for adoption.
“We haven’t had them in more than three or four years,” she said.
Meanwhile, an employee at ABC Animal Hospital said the bunny seems to be healthy and is eating and drinking on its own. It’s female with an agouti patterned (a mix of light and darker brown fur) coat, and is about a year old. It’s one pound, which is small even for a bunny. Additionally, the veterinarian, Dr. Daniel Tufaro, believes it is domestic due to its friendliness, though it’s not used to being around cats or dogs.
“She’s super friendly,” said employee Anita Guan. “We couldn’t believe she was outside on her own.” The vet suspects the bunny’s not a runaway. “Escape doesn’t seem feasible because she’s one of the most laid-back bunnies we’ve seen.”
If the owner does not come to claim her, ABC may adopt her out or she may even become the office mascot. “Dr. Tufaro loves bunnies,” Guan said.