Monster bunny on guard

BURGLARS beware – there is a monster guarding an Ipswich shop!Although Hercules may look fur-ly ferocious, he's not really Thugs Bunny.But if something went thump in the night, it would take a Herculean effort not be frightened off by this mini-monster.

BURGLARS beware – there is a monster guarding an Ipswich shop!

Although Hercules may look fur-ly ferocious, he's not really Thugs Bunny.

But if something went thump in the night, it would take a Herculean effort not be frightened off by this mini-monster.

Viscount Tackle shop owner John Dulieu, 41, said: "We all joke that Hercules would go straight for the throat if the alarm went off.


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"But it's all just a laugh – he'd have to read a book on how to bite first.

"He's very abnormal, but he's just so daft and loveable that we can't help loving him and my daughter Sophie absolutely dotes on him."

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The bulky bunny – from the appropriately named British giant breed – tips the scales at a whopping 16lbs.

But heavyweight Hercules is not what he eats. A monster sized appetite once accounted for two fishing rods, but he usually gets by on rabbit pellets.

John said: "He ate two fishing rods which came in at £220 between them – he decided to make a breakfast of the two cork handles.

"But it doesn't seem to have done him any harm and it certainly hasn't stunted his growth.

"He eats specialist pellets which cost about £15 for a three-month supply. He needs roughage so he has to eat grass as well.

"Other than that, he loves the odd carrot or a bit of left-over broccoli – anything except lettuce, it's bad for rabbits' digestion systems."

John was unsure when wife Jane, 48, first brought the rabbit through the door.

He said: "I'm allergic to rabbits so I thought 'oh great.' Jane had seen him in a tiny cage with his ears sticking out of the top, it was just an impulse thing."

Hefty Hercules is also pretty tall – if he could stand up straight on his hind legs he would be more than three feet.

But despite his bulk, he is welcome to wander around the shop and has become a favourite with customers.

John said: "He lives in a massive cage in the kitchen, but when we let him out he wanders around the shop wherever he wants.

"Any kids that come in absolutely love him. Some people jump about four foot in the air when they see him, but everyone asks questions."

Factfile

Rabbits are not rodents as many people think. They actually come from the lagomorpha family.

The biggest rabbit ever recorded was a massive French lop weighing 26lbs 7oz.

A British giant bred in Sittingbourne, Kent is the world's biggest living rabbit. Dancing Star tips the scales at 26lbs.

Hercules is not as hefty as you might think – it is not uncommon for a British giant to reach more than 20lbs.

And Flemish giants are, on average, even bigger.

If healthy and well, a British giant can expect to live up to eight years in a domestic environment.

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