Now the Jackalope Found? Mermaids & Bigfeet Flee Minnesota

Vet: Dead Rabbit Looks Like a Jackalope

from The Associated Press

SAUK RAPIDS, Minn. - Veterinarian Dennis Bechtold looked at the dead rabbit in disbelief. The rabbit's wart-like growths made it look like a mythical jackalope — an animal that is half-rabbit, half-antelope.

"It was amazing, really," Bechtold said. "Two of (the growths) were in the exact spot that made them look like a jackalope."

The dead rabbit was found in a woman's garden. It had Shope papilloma virus, a highly contagious disease that causes rabbits to grow things on their head and face that look like horns.

"I've never seen anything like it before," Police Chief Curt Gullickson said after the woman had called police about the rabbit.

Bechtold said the disease does not infect humans or domestic rabbits. He and Gullickson said there may be other rabbits in the area with the same problem.

"(People) may see them, and should not be scared of them," Gullickson said.

Rabbits with the disease can live with it, but usually die when the growths prevent them from eating.


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