Over a thousand rabbits were trapped inside the hall of Sweden’s largest rabbit show last weekend after a roof collapsed leading to tragic loss of life and widespread injury. Described by Fur and Feather magazine as being “the biggest show in Sweden”, the tennis hall exhibition in Nykpoing had attracted 1,648 bunnies and their owners.
“It was very, very fortunate that the collapse happened at night. If there had been people in the building they would probably not all have survived,” said one rescue coordinator, Lars Ahlgren, in a report by The Local.
The collapse occurred at around 01.30 on Saturday morning, when the mammals were mainly asleep or doing what they are best known for. The exact reason for the falling roof has not been established as yet, but heavy snowfall is thought to have been the likely cause. No rabbit owners were inside the building as they were all at a dance party organised by a local rabbit owners’ association in a separate building at the time of the collapse.
The aftermath saw rescue teams frantically try to coordinate an animal evacuation, although authorities acknowledged that many of the creatures had gone into hiding, presumably in shock. “There are a lot of sad rabbit owners at the scene. We’ve been focusing on making sure that none of them try to get in to the rabbits. There is a risk of further collapses,” said police inspector Urban Nordqvist. Around half of the cages were buried in the collapse.
Exhibition organizer Johnny Johansson greeted the first fluffy escapee with open arms but said it was too early to know exactly how many of the rabbits perished in the disaster.