I’ve stolen this from Grrlscientist at the Guardian, who posted on “Champis, the sheep-herding rabbit” last Saturday. It’s about a European rabbit who acts like a sheepdog. (Note: the music, “Run, rabbit, run” is a bit annoying.)
I take no responsibility for the claim that this lagomorph is deliberately herding the sheep. Perhaps he just has an affinity for sheep, and they run away when they see the bunny approach. (That testifies, at least, that the adjective “sheepish” is accurate!). But it sure looks as if he’s trying to keep the sheep under control.
UPDATE: I’ve since learned that Champis appeared at HuffPo, too, where it’s explained that he’s Swedish, 5 years old, and that he may indeed be herding sheep:
Greta Vigren said she first noted his talent last spring when they let out the sheep to graze for the first time after the long Swedish winter.
“He just started to behave like a sheepdog,” she recalled, adding that while he likes to round up the sheep, he is consistent about leaving the farm’s hens alone, treating them more gently.
“He’s like a king for the whole group. He thinks he rules over both the sheep and the hens. He has a very big ego.”
Dan Westman, a sheepdog breeder who shot and posted the video of his friends’ bunny, said he was in awe when he first witnessed the phenomenon, noting Champis does the job even better than most dogs would.
“It’s really incredible, it’s a herding rabbit,” he said. “He rounds them up, and if they get close to escaping through the gate he sometimes stops them,” he said.
“I mean I work with sheepdogs and know how hard this is. There are very few dogs that could do what this rabbit does.”
Westman, who’s known both Champis and its owners for years, said the beige little mix-breed bunny had never been trained for the job but seemed to have learned the ropes all on his own.
“He’s probably picked some of it up from watching the dogs,” he said.
I can imagine a new t.v. show on the BBC: “A man and his bunny.”
h/t: Diane G.