Thinking Twice Before Buying Rabbits, Chickens

Zookeepers Remind Northlanders to Think Twice Before Buying Cute Bunnies and Chicks for Gifts

DULUTH, Minn. – The Lake Superior Zoo in Duluth is home to many exotic animals, but we can’t forget about our barnyard friends!

Zookeepers say rabbits and chickens are once again gaining in popularity as the season turns to spring. In this week’s Animal Answers, FOX 21’s Brett Scott found out why it might be best to just visit them at the Zoo.

Cats and dogs are common childhood companions.

“These guys need a lot more care than the average person thinks,” said Zookeeper Lizzy Larson.

With the Easter holiday edging closer and closer, bunny rabbits and chickens are flying off the market.

“These guys do need to be exercised. They need somebody who can devote a lot of time to them and take them out,” said Larson.

Zookeepers Lizzy Larson and Jessica Phoenix keep pretty busy cleaning up. On average, it takes two hours to care for the Zoo’s four rabbits, and the flock of chickens, every day.

“Around Easter, a lot of people like to end up getting baby bunnies for their kids,” said Larson.

A concern for animal caretakers, because down the road they say the novelty often wears off.

“Baby bunnies are super cute but they’re actually a whole lot of work,” said Larson.

“Chickens are very messy too! They require a lot of care,” said Zookeeper Jessica Phoenix.

Care which kids often forget about as they grow older. Zookeepers say rabbits and chickens can live a life of up to ten years.

“We don’t always recommend them as pets for everybody. I would definitely recommend somebody who’s a little bit older; someone ten years of age or older,” said Larson.

Larson says many folks eventually flock to local animal shelters or even the Zoo. Officials with the Lake Superior Zoo want to remind residents they are not able to take in animals off the street.

“It is a tough task to try and re-home a rabbit,” said Larson.

“There are rescues for farm animals,” said Phoenix.

Parents, looking to find a new home for their full grown rabbit or chicken.

“Giving them an opportunity to go outside in a protected area where they can use their natural instincts and do what they are meant to do,” said Larson.

This Easter holiday, Larson and Phoenix are asking Northlanders to rethink before their flock or herd becomes too big.

“The country is definitely better, they’re a lot happier if they are able to roam and hunt for bugs and stuff like that,” said Phoenix.

Happening Saturday, April 15, the Lake Superior Zoo will be hosting their annual Easter Egg-stravaganza. The egg hunt is open to the public. Activities run from 10a.m. to 2p.m.

Click here for more information.

Have an idea for Animal Answers? Contact Brett Scott at

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