(Photo: Jamie Hanson)
This is Mr. Fluffy Bum. Isn't he cute?
He's also unusual. Mr. Fluffy Bum lives in Queensland, Australia, where pet rabbits are so strictly regulated that they're practically illegal. That's because rabbits are an invasive species in Australia. After being introduced in 1859 from Europe, rabbits took over native habitats and eventually soared to a population of 10 billion.
Australian governments have long labored to end the lapine menace. In the state of Queensland, it's very hard to legally own a rabbit. That was a problem for magician Nick Britt. The Courier Mail reported last year:
Queensland is the only state in Australia that strictly prohibits keeping domestic rabbits as pets. Offenders face fines of $45,500.
Mr Britt is one of 34 magicians in Queensland permitted to keep a rabbit, but he said the application process was extreme.
“I had to apply for a permit, provide proof that I was a magician with publicity photos and send through an escape plan in case he got loose,” Mr Britt said.
The pet required immediate desexing and microchipping and his permit must be renewed every two years or he could face extradition.
“I also had to find a veterinarian from the UK to perform the operation because no one in Queensland is used to dealing with rabbits,” he said.