Rare Rabbit : Sumatran Rabbit
The Sumatran Striped Rabbit (Nesolagus netscheri), also known as the Sumatra Short-eared Rabbit or Sumatran Rabbit, is a rabbit found only in forest in the Barisan Mountains in western Sumatra, Indonesia. The Sumatran rabbit is apparently the world’s rarest rabbit. Until recently, there had been only one confirmed sighting since 1916, in 1972. Then in early 1998, a team from Fauna and Flora International photographed one of these rabbits in Mt Kerinci National Park, in Sumatra, by means of phototrapping. That’s not really its name; it doesn’t have one. Meet the rarest rabbit in the world, which has only been seen twice in the last century at least.
Sumatran rabbits have white underbellies and red tails. They measure approximately 13-15 inches (340-400 mm) long with a 0.5 inch (15 mm) tail. They only weigh about 3 pounds (1.5 kg). They are also known to have shorter ears than other rabbits.
Since there hasn’t been any significant field research on these rabbits, nothing really is known about their method of reproduction. Other rabbits in the same family, however, usually reach sexual maturity at around 8 months of age. After a gestational period of 10 days, they give birth to litters of baby rabbits, or kittens. These litters can number up to six kittens at a time. Rabbits usually build nests that are lined with their own fur for the kittens when they are born, and they are blind and helpless at birth, usually not even opening their eyes for 7-10 days. Typical rabbits are able to live to be about nine years old. Unfortunately, it is not known whether the Sumatran Rabbit has these typical breeding characteristics or not.
The Sumatran Rabbit is so rare and well hidden that the local people don’t even have a name for it in their own language and don’t even realize that it exists.