December 7, 2017

In the raging California wildfires, a man saves a wild rabbit.



"Video shows a California man rescue a rabbit after it darted across a Ventura County highway and into the burning brush..." (CNN).

Rescuing a wild rabbit is not a priority, in the larger picture of the terrible wildfires, but there is something really moving about the video — pure emotion, empathy. Folly. I have a couple of stories of saving wild rabbits (in my youth).

43 comments:

Michael K said...

It's a shame those 30 horses could not have been saved. The photos in the LA Times are horrible.

Quaestor said...

The childish leaping and fretting...

(Beware, that media player has no volume control.)

Kate said...

My mother, who was driving at age 12, shared with me her dad's first driving advice: if a squirrel crosses into the road in front of you, hit it. Swerving and braking are dangerous, and your safety is more important than that animal's.

Unless that rabbit is a beloved pet, this man is crazy.

Big Mike said...

@Michael K, a few years ago a couple that was boarding a friend's mules in their pasture were ordered to evacuate. All they could do was open the pasture gates and hope for the best. All of the mules were found alive afterwards. The woman was an entertainer and lost all her costumes, but managed to cobble an outfit together from thrift shops IIRC. It would have taken a while to get all the gates unlocked in the case of the horse trainer, maybe too long. I admit I'd have tried.

Big Mike said...

@Kate, you're right, of course. But we humans do crazy things to help animals. It's one of the things that makes us human.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Amazing that the guy picked him up like that. One desperate rabbit. I hope bunny is OK. Drudge had a heartbreaking link to burned horses who were trapped in their stalls. Horrible.

Browndog said...

His actions are impulsive and instinctive. To say unequivocally "He's crazy/I wouldn't do that" is easy while sitting in front of a computer.

Oso Negro said...

Where was that kind of heroism when the parrot was abandoned earlier this year?

james james said...

Death by fire -- the idea of being burned alive -- is a primal fear.

To see a living creature, big or small, be subjected to that: there but for the Grace of God goes me.

Primal fears can cause intense reactions.

An intense immediate reaction to save a life from fire that is happening right in front of you: I am glad he did not get hurt.

- james james

The Cracker Emcee Activist said...

Good for him. You can say it’s just a rabbit, but God saw it.

Larvell said...

Then he cooked it.

The Cracker Emcee Activist said...

Possibly, but it’s the thought that counts.

Bad Lieutenant said...

It's also striking that the wild rabbit allowed itself to be taken up by the big strange biped (who doubtless grew up on the animal-exploitative Looney Tunes and whose favorite dish could have been Hasenpfeffer).

It was doubtless in existential panic and I daresay wild rabbits never approach people at the best of times. It wasn't smart enough to run towards the camera and away from the fire, but it was [?] enough to literally put itself in his hands.

If it had been a cat we could make Trump jokes. Meanwhile, I don't say that he will never have to buy his own drinks again, but presumably, he should never have to go home alone.

PS Where's the Men In Shorts tag?

Assrat said...

This is one of those things that is both incredibly stupid and admirable.

PackerBronco said...

"Whoever saves one wild rabbit, saves the fluffle entire."
--- Oscar Schindler


Hey, I never thought the day would come when I could use the word "fluffle" in a blog. Fluffle!

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The very worst aspect of a wildfire is the animals that are trapped, caged, tethered, chained up, who cannot escape. Sometimes the situation is so fast moving that there is not much ability to free or move the animals. Often people will put themselves in danger to free or save the captured/tamed animals. That is a gold star in heaven for humanity. Unfortunately, other times the fatal result is just neglect.

Wild animals and those who are freed at least have a chance. When there are wildfires in our area, the valley below, where we live, is temporarily inundated with wildlife seeking refuge. It can take years before the habitat that the animals have fled from will be habitable again. Meanwhile the survivors move on or starve.

This entire thing in LA is a tragedy for humans and animals alike.

Angela Spall said...

I am new to this blog and happened to catch these posts. Clearly, the world is made up of many different types of humanity. I am sure there is a reason and a natural balance for the existence of good people and the assholes. What this man did in the face of destruction was look at that one moment of a living breathing creature and by saving that his grace and his humanity trumps (and please forgive that pun as that word has been bedeviled for me)any asshole statements that said he should have let it all go. Humanity, by not letting the small vital things go, has hope Those who walk away with contempt for that humanity is what gives us dread. I wish I could have the honor of meeting this guy and thanking him personally.

choirmom said...

What are your stories, Ann? I'd love to hear them.

Ann Althouse said...

"PS Where's the Men In Shorts tag?"

It was hot out. Very hot.

Achilles said...

Rescuing a wild rabbit is not a priority, in the larger picture of the terrible wildfires, but there is something really moving about the video — pure emotion, empathy.

I thought he looked hungry.

Ann Althouse said...

"What are your stories, Ann? I'd love to hear them."

When I was a kindergartner, my sister and I found some baby rabbits after the field behind our house was mowed. I don't know how we "knew" the mother was gone, but let's just say my sister had this crucial information. We brought them home, and my mother didn't like it but said we could keep them in a box, but if one died, we had to let the rest go. With an eyedropper, we fed milk to those babies. We were were fervent rescuers. But of course, one died, and Mother's edict went into force.

When I was a teenager, I found a wounded bunny. Not a complete baby, but smaller than a full-scale rabbit. I was allowed to bring it into the house and I cared for it, but, as my mother predicted, and you all have just predicted, the little thing died. I wrote about it in my journal. I believe I called the bunny "Freedom" and metaphors presented themselves.

Achilles said...

Larvell beat me to it.

!!

Etienne said...

When I see a rabbit around the house (I had four this year), I blast them with my pellet gun. These are not your disposed Easter bunny rabbits, they are wild rabbits.

Turns out they are full of fleas and ticks. Boy do they like to dig!

You have to wear throw-away gloves to pick them up and put them in the garbage bag.

Brrrr... those things are nasty.

Bill said...

I don't give a rabbit's foot what social media thinks, but that was indeed lovely.

rehajm said...

#MeToo?

-Al Franken

Dust Bunny Queen said...

When I see a rabbit around the house (I had four this year), I blast them with my pellet gun. These are not your disposed Easter bunny rabbits, they are wild rabbits.

Turns out they are full of fleas and ticks. Boy do they like to dig!


And, likely have warbles. Look that up and see photos if you dare!!

Reason #1 to not ever consider wild rabbits as food.

Yancey Ward said...

The guy is lucky he isn't a Darwin Award winner this morning.

Ornithophobe said...

Wild rabbits are functionally no different than the ones sold in pet stores. When I was a little girl the neighbor ran over a rabbit warren with a lawnmower; I didn't see the carnage- but she brought the runt of the litter home to me. Being small and on the bottom of the pile, he'd survived unscathed. "Baby" was bottlefed, litter trained, as sociable as a puppy and as mischievous as a cat. The worst part about having him was the vet bills for filing his teeth. He lived to a ripe old age.

wwww said...

Humanity, by not letting the small vital things go, has hope


Yes, that's a beautiful way to put it.

Earnest Prole said...

Pro tip: Don't click on things that will make you stupider.

Infinite Monkeys said...

If I hadn't seen the title saying "a man saves a wild rabbit" before I watched the video, I would have been afraid that the rabbit would run out of the fire and into traffic. I would have been sure that would be the outcome if it had been a squirrel instead of a rabbit.

rehajm said...

Law of the jungle

exiledonmainstreet said...

"My mother, who was driving at age 12, shared with me her dad's first driving advice: if a squirrel crosses into the road in front of you, hit it. Swerving and braking are dangerous, and your safety is more important than that animal's."

That is true, but if you are at all able to do so, you want to make sure that squirrel is dead.

A few years ago, I was driving to work and spotted a squirrel which had been hit and was about 5 ft away from the curb. The poor thing was still alive and was on its' back thrashing its' front paws in agony. The sight registered with me about a millisecond after I had passed it. I kept driving - and thinking about that squirrel.

After a few minutes, I turned around, drove back, and saw the thing was still alive, so I ran it over (and then went around the block and drove past it again to make absolutely sure it was dead. (Yeah, I was a few minutes late for work.) It was squished into the pavement - and out of its' misery.

If I hadn't done it, that squirrel would have bothered me all day. Headed straight for a car wash when I got out of work.

exiledonmainstreet said...

"The very worst aspect of a wildfire is the animals that are trapped, caged, tethered, chained up, who cannot escape."

The fate of those poor horses trouble me too.

Jonathan Graehl said...

badly undercooked.

Michael said...

Not a wild rabbit. Jumping up and down and clapping your hands in hysteria is the act of a man trying to rescue his pet. Unless he is a total fool who believes animals speak English and respond to pleas.

Bad Lieutenant said...

the act of a man trying to rescue his pet

OK that makes more sense. So, Althouse, I think you should delete this thread. SMH

glam1931 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
glam1931 said...

Last year I was coming out of our long driveway when a squirrel ran under my car; I heard the "thunk!" as it hit its head on the undercarriage. I stopped and got out of the car, the squirrel was thrashing about in its death-throes. Before I could even approach it, a hawk flew down and grabbed it. I managed to take a photo as the hawk flew off with it.
Circle of Life™, baby!

Phil 3:14 said...

He should come to my neighborhood. He can save hundreds from the owls and the coyotes.

Lucien said...

If I had to choose between my dogs and most human beings (including Althouse and any of the commenters on her blog), the dogs would win without a second thought. When everything is said and done, I love them and you all mean nothing to me.

What this guy demonstrates in the video? The empathy for the innocent/blameless that makes humanity wonderful.

Ralph L said...

Years ago, I pulled a tiny baby bunny from the jaws of the neighbor's cat. He promptly shat down the front of my white shirt. Gratitude!

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Lucien said...

What this guy demonstrates in the video? The empathy for the innocent/blameless that makes humanity wonderful.

I'm betting the guy went home and googled hasenpfeffer