The same people who brought the Catfe to Vancouver have opened Canada’s first-ever Bunny Cafe in the city.
Visitors were given greens Tuesday (June 22) to spoil the two-dozen adoptable bunnies fostered out from Rabbitats rescue society at the business.
“We started this to try and replace petting zoos,” said founder Sorelle Saidman, who hopped to the idea after hosting a Rabbitats pop-up at the Catfe in December 2018.
“We started with a couple of feral rabbits, not knowing whether they would take to humans.” Within two days, the rescues became lap bunnies and eventually were adopted.
The Bunny Cafe is the permanent installation of that foster-to-adopt model.
It’s aiming to curb the overpopulation of domestic rabbits in Metro Vancouver as more owners abandon them in the wild.
There, their days are numbered as they are preyed on by other species.
At the cafe, visitors can interact with the domesticated rabbits and learn about the species. The bunnies get to socialize too.
“There are protective benches and boxes for the rabbits who don’t want to participate,” Saidman said. “Although, mostly all of them do come out to play.”
Guests refrain from touching the rabbits but instead let each animal chose the level of contact they’re most comfortable with.
“Each bunny gets its own choice,” Saidman said.
Many decide to hop onto human laps while fed treats, guests are then allowed to give gentle head pats.
“At petting zoos, there’s a lot of unwanted touching and grabbing and it’s a stressful situation for the rabbits,” Saidman said.
“This is not a petting zoo.”
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