Generally, eighty percent of the body color of the Enderby rabbit breed is silver and the other twenty percent ranges from blue to black. Its undercoat is dark slate blue. Its ears, head and tail are much darker in color, which almost appear black. It weighs only about 3 to 4 pounds. It has a fine bone, with narrow body and bold eyes. Its ears are held upright and are lighter silver in comparison to its body color. Its nose has a distinct butterfly marking which makes it unique compared to other rabbit breeds. As it grows older, the color silver in its entire body is more noticeable.
This breed usually comes in silver or grey in color but there are some small percentage having cream or beige color. There are other colors as well, which are champagne, crème and slate. Champagne and slate rabbits of this breed are actually born black, and the crème rabbits are born in featuring a fawn color.
Behavior and Temperament
The Enderby Island rabbit is a small to medium sized rabbit which makes it an ideal pet rabbit for cuddling. Probably due to the circumstances it experienced in its natural habitat, this rabbit breed is quite skittish and nervous which is somehow innate or natural for them to look out for predators at all times. For this reason, it is noticeable that it usually wants to burrow and hide its head, if not its entire body, as its natural defense mechanism against predators.
The good news, however, is that if it receives a lot of attention and affection from its owner, it can respond and be affectionate and can learn to trust and show its love in return. Once the owner gains its trust, the pet rabbit usually shows its affection to its owners through kisses and licks when it is happy and content and in good mood. It is a cuddly rabbit and it often grooms itself. It is important to note that this breed prefers to be put outside rather than inside of the house where it can feel free and roam around freely.
The diet of the Enderby Rabbit is practically the same with that of other rabbit breeds which is mostly composed of fruits, leafy greens, and vegetables aside from its main consumption of timothy hay. In addition, the owner can also provide it with vitamin laced pellets which can be bought from any local pet shops. It is important, however, that its weight should be monitored as it is not excellent in carrying excess weight well because of its size. Moreover, it can have a difficulty in grooming itself once it becomes obese or overweight. It is also a good idea to regularly bring the rabbit to the veterinarian for check up to ensure that your pet is healthy and in good condition.
History and Background of Enderby Rabbit
The Enderby Rabbit is one of the world’s rarest rabbit breeds. As its name suggests, it is found in the sub-antarctic Island of Enderby. This breed, which is also called as the Enderby Rabbit, descended from the rabbit breed that were taken from Australia. Scientists and rabbit enthusiasts attest that it was purposely placed in there to provide food for the people who are survivors of a ship wreck in Auckland Island way back in 1865.
The Enderby Rabbit is a descendant of the English Silver Grey. It was released on the sub-antarctic island of Enderby in early October, year 1865. This was intended to provide food for the survivors of the shipwreck in Auckland Islands. It is speculated to be the descendant of the British silver-grey rabbits. However, it developed over the 130 years that it inhabited the island.
It practically lived completely in isolation for almost 130 years. They became adapted to their natural habitat distinctively. Nowadays, thanks to the relentless efforts of the scientists and rabbit enthusiasts, the species has increased in number, especially those in captivity. It is now readily available for everyone to acquire and be included in their collection of rare rabbit breeds. The Enderby Island rabbit remains in New Zealand as one of the rarest breeds, under the control of the organization “Rare Breeds Conservation Society of New Zealand”.