Monster Rabbit Stalks U.K. Village (But No Sign of Wallace or Gromit)

James Owen in London
for National Geographic News
April 11, 2006

It's a scenario straight out of a Wallace and Gromit movie: An enormous rabbit is laying waste to vegetable plots in an English village, according to reports.

The news was first dismissed as an April Fool's joke. But residents of Felton in northeast England have confirmed that a huge, floppy-eared creature is leaving behind giant paw prints and a trail of destroyed carrots, leeks, onions, and turnips following nighttime raids.

(Wallpaper: non-scary rabbit devours corn on the cob.)

The reportedly black and brown, dog-size bunny could be an escaped giant breed of pet rabbit, experts say.

The tale has uncanny similarities to The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, the 2005 Wallace and Gromit animated film. The plot centers on a ravenous "were-rabbit" that starts chomping through prize vegetables just before the annual growing contest.

In the Oscar-winning movie, Wallace and his dog, Gromit, advocate humane pest-control methods.

The real-life rabbit—Bigs Bunny, as it's been called—faces a shoot-to-kill policy.

The bunny hunt is focusing on public land where 12 local residents grow plants to eat and to enter in summer vegetable competitions.

One of the gardeners, Jeff Smith, first spotted the rabbit in Felton in February. He described it as "a monster" with footprints bigger than a deer's.

"What the Hell Is That?"

"The first time I saw it I said, 'What the hell is that?'" Smith told local newspaper the Northumberland Gazette.

Three other villagers have also reported seeing the animal.

Continued on Next Page >>




NEWS FEEDS     After installing a news reader, click on this icon to download National Geographic News's XML/RSS feed.   After installing a news reader, click on this icon to download National Geographic News's XML/RSS feed.

Get our news delivered directly to your desktop—free.
How to Use XML or RSS

National Geographic Daily News To-Go

Listen to your favorite National Geographic news daily, anytime, anywhere from your mobile phone. No wires or syncing. Download Stitcher free today.
Click here to get 12 months of National Geographic Magazine for $15.