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Rescue centre creates bunny ball pit to promote rabbit enrichment
Himalayan lionhead rabbit Princess enjoying the ball pit.

RSPCA Danaher offers plenty to entertain its smaller residents

An RSPCA rescue centre in Essex has come up with a novel way to keep its smaller residents entertained.

The Danaher Animal Home in Wethersfield is highlighting the importance of rabbit enrichment by showing off its bunny ball pit. Filled with dozens of colourful plastic balls, it’s already being enjoyed by Himalayan lionhead rabbit Princess, who has been in the care of the RSPCA since March.

And that’s not the only activity keeping the resident rabbits in good spirits. Animal centre manager Debs Satchell said that whether it’s cubes or tubes, cardboard boxes or shop-bought brain-stimulating puzzles, there is plenty to keep smaller animals entertained.

“We try to offer the smaller residents at Danaher plenty to keep their minds occupied and try to change the enrichments we provide them with regularly to avoid them becoming bored,” said Debs.

RSPCA’s rabbit and rodent welfare expert Dr Jane Tyson explained that rabbits are one of the UK’s most misunderstood pets who are all too often consigned to the end of the garden in a hutch alone.

“Whilst not all rabbits will enjoy being in a ball pit, for those that do, this can be great enrichment and owners can scatter some tasty, healthy treats in the pit for the rabbits to find,” she said.

“It is important they are never forced to enter a ball pit and are always able to escape. They should also always be supervised whilst in the ball pit to ensure they don't hurt themselves or start to nibble on the balls which could be dangerous.”

Image (C) RSPCA

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Rare chimp birth announced at Edinburgh Zoo

News Story 1
 The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) welcomed the birth of a critically endangered western chimpanzee on Monday 3 February at Edinburgh Zoo's Budongo Trail.

The baby girl will be named in the coming days through a public vote, and staff will carry out a paternity test during its first health check to determine the father.

Mother Heleen's first infant, Velu, was born in 2014, making this new baby only the second chimpanzee born in Scotland for more than 20 years.

Budongo Trail team leader Donald Gow said: "While we celebrate every birth, this one is particularly special because our new arrival is a critically endangered Western chimpanzee, a rare subspecies of chimpanzee."

Image (c) RZSS/Donald Gow. 

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BEVA offering free membership to vet students

The British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) is offering free membership to veterinary students. As part of a new initiative with the aim of encouraging more veterinary professionals into equine practice.

According to BEVA, less than one in ten veterinary students choose to work in equine practice. The association hopes that this initiative will provide insight into the field and the benefits of a career in equine medicine.

Benefits of membership include:
▪ access to a network of nearly 3,000 members
▪ special student rates to attend BEVA Congress
▪ online access to BEVA's Equine Veterinary Education (EVE) journal
▪ free access to the association's online learning platform
▪ free access to BEVA's practical veterinary apps
▪ exclusive discounts on a range of things from cinema tickets to grocery shopping.

BEVA will be releasing a series of short videos over the next few months from BEVA Council members, explaining what inspired them to work in equine practice.

Image (c) BEVA.