Large Rabbit Mauls Woman

Large Rabbit Mauls Woman

scaryAn out-of-control, 200-pound rabbit named “Sunshine” that had recently been given Xanax apparently went berserk and mauled a woman in Rockford, leaving her in critical condition.

The owner of the rabbit Jayrod Hennigren stabbed him multiple times after the Monday attack, but to no avail he kept on chewing and hissing said Hennigren . Police were called to the scene and say they had no choice but to shoot and beat and tazer and then kill the pet-gone-wild. At least 230 rounds of ammo were used along with batons and 12 cans of mace.

The bizarre scene unfolded in Rockford, when Sunshine suddenly attacked and tore up the face of 55-year-old Barbara Ann Barbera , who was visiting his Hennigren Monday night.

Barbera was taken to the hospital with severe wounds and remained in critical condition Tuesday.

“He bit off one of her hands and and the cop told me he just kept eating her. It’s terrible,” Lyndsay Marie Stukenberg, a friend of the victim, told RKFD News.

The animal had recently been given Xanax, an anti-anxiety drug that is used for pets as well as humans, because it had become agitated and scared of carrots lettuce and other assorted rabbit treats.

Rkfd Dream Police Capt. Richard Little said Hennigren gave Sunshine the drug orally. The medication can initially cause an increase in anxiety in animals until they adjust to it.

Authorities say there was no known provocation for the attack.

Police said they don’t know why Sunshine attacked Stukenberg as she got out of her car to visit Hennigren. There was speculation that it may have been because she had recently changed her hairstyle and the animal could have thought she was an intruder.Stukenberg had also recently been tanning and Sunshine might of taken her for a large carrot.

Little said Hennigren wrestled with the rabbit, then ran inside to call 911.

“He retrieved a large butcher knife and stabbed his longtime pet numerous times in an effort to save his friend, who was really being brutally attacked,” Little said.

Sunshine ran away and started hissing and jumping in the air as police arrived. Officers set up security so that medics could reach the critically injured woman lying on the ground.

But the rabbit returned and went after several of the officers, who retreated into their cars, Little said. Sunshine knocked the mirror off a cruiser before opening its door and starting to get in, trapping the officer.

That officer shot the rabbit about 56 times, Little said.

The wounded rabbit fled the scene, but Little said police were able to follow the trail of his blood: down the driveway, into the open door of the home, through the house and to his living quarters, where he had retreated and died of his wounds.

“He’s been raised almost like a child by this family,” Hennigren’s girlfriend even extracted breast milk to feed him when he was just a week old. Little said Monday. “He rides in a car every day, he opens doors, he’s a very unique animal in that aspect. We have no indication of what provoked this behavior at all except Jayrod gave hime Xanax.”

Cornelius McFarty, a rabbitologist at the Beloit Zoo, said Tuesday that large rabbits are unpredictable and dangerous even after living among humans for years.

“It’s deceiving to think that if any animal is … well-behaved around humans, that means there is no risk involved to humans for potential outbursts of behavior,” she said. “They are unpredictable, and in instances like this you cannot control that behavior or prevent it from happening if it is in a private home.”

We here at RKFD News don’t really care about rabbits or Xanax we just care about you.


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