Sniffing rabbits during ‘love at first sight’ at the animal shelter in Eindhoven. At the shelter, rabbits are paired up on Valentine’s Day and if there is a match, the rabbits go home together. So too for male Freek who enters the love room full of expectations.
Stichting Regionale Opvang Zwerfdieren Eindhoven (ROZE, foundation regional rescue stray animals) wanted to stimulate owners of rabbits to take a second rabbit on Valentine’s Day. This not only ensures that rabbits are out of the shelter, but it is also a great benefit for the animals. “As a child, I always had rabbits, too, and I’ve seen that it makes a rabbit calmer when there are two of them. Freek is quite affectionate now and really needs me, and so I think it’s time for a friend”, Tessa van Slooten explains.
Tessa entered the animal shelter on Tuesday afternoon carrying Freek in a cage, where Freek was eventually put in the love room. “We set that up so it’s unfamiliar territory for both rabbits. That way we can really see if it’s a match. You can see that especially when they are nicely curious about each other and of course don’t start fighting”, Alma van Dorenmalen, of the ROZE foundation, says.
So it’s all going to happen in the love room. Will the date be a success? Or will the rabbits each go their separate ways. In any case, Tessa has some requirements for Freek’s future partner. “The girlfriend should be nice and playful and like to go through the garden together with Freek. And preferably they can even dig up the garden. Other than that, Freek ultimately makes the choice. He has to like her, then it’s good for me”.
Freek is eventually paired with Beatle. If all goes well, the spotted female eventually can go home with him. “That is the intention yes. Beatle was found abandoned on the street and put on weight at the shelter. She is very curious and ready for an adventure. It could be a good match”, Van Dorenmalen explains.
The exciting moment is there when Beatle is put with Freek. The male has been able to explore the love room for a while and is already a little less shy. Beatle, on the other hand, finds it very exciting, according to Van Dorenmalen. She hardly comes out of her cage, while Freek already smells her from a distance. “You can see that Freek is very driven and wants to go after her right away. Of course we have to build that up slowly otherwise Beatle will get very scared”.
After spending some time in the love room, the two rabbits feel familiar by now. They sniff each other and run after each other. The frolicking is already waning and so a true match is standing. “Fortunately, yes. Things are going really well and I’m going to take Beatle home. I’m going to get them used to each other so they can live together in one cage. Although I don’t know if I’m going to keep Beatle’s name”, Van Slooten said.
Translated by: Bob