|Common Name:||Venezuelan Lowland Rabbit|
|Scientific Name:||Sylvilagus varynaensis|
|Size:||About 17 inches|
|Country of Origin:||Western Venezuela|
Venezuelan Lowland Rabbit Information and History
The Venezuelan Lowland Rabbit is a medium to large-sized species of cottontail rabbits that are native to the western portion of Venezuela and can be found in lowland savannas that are near dry forests and other similar types of habitats in the wild. These rabbits are actually the largest ones found in South America.
Venezuelan Lowland Rabbits actually look similar to their cottontail rabbit cousins as far as their overall features are concerned. However, they do have their own unique physical attributes. These rabbits have large ears that can be as long as the length of the entire head. However, unlike domesticated rabbits, their heads tend to be a lot smaller than their bodies. And, unlike some other cottontail rabbits, the Venezuelan Lowland Rabbit tends to have a rather plump appearance.
When it comes to color, the Venezuelan Lowland Rabbit is predominantly brown but can have different shades all over its body. Its back tends to have a darker shade of brown while the belly and its tail can be close to white or grayish in terms of color. In some cases, these rabbits may somehow look grayish, just like their other cottontail cousins.
The Venezuelan Lowland Rabbit is the largest kind of rabbit that is native to South America. It can grow as long as 17 inches or about a foot and a half. Females tend to be bigger than males due to how they need the extra size and body mass for birthing purposes.
Venezuelan Lowland Rabbits are anything but domesticated when it comes to their personality. These rabbits are similar to any other cottontail rabbit in the sense that they are considered a top choice for many different predators in the wild. As such, they tend to exhibit a sort of personality that allows them to feel safe in any kind of environment. This makes them rather shy regardless of whether they are in the wild or in captivity.
Due to their shy nature, Venezuelan Lowland Rabbits can be quite docile when handled by humans. They are very easy to feel threatened and will probably submit their owner’s will but will be under a lot of stress. These rabbits do not like getting too much attention due to their nature as top prey choices for predators in the wild. In that regard, expect your Venezuelan Lowland Rabbit to be less friendly compared to the ones that are used to a domesticated kind of lifestyle.
Venezuelan Lowland Rabbits do not get to live very long due to their nature as rabbits that are used to the conditions in the wild. However, because the wild offers a lot of life-threatening factors such as illnesses, diseases, infections, and predators, these rabbits are not expected to last for more than three years. And while they generally do not prefer to live in a captive state, they are expected to live longer as domesticated pets rather than as animals left alone to fend for themselves in the wild because of how their diet and their living conditions seem to be better in captivity.
Venezuelan Lowland Rabbits are like their cottontail counterparts in the sense that they will reach sexual maturity 2 to 3 months after birth. The gestation period for females usually lasts for about 25 days to an entire month. Female Venezuelan Lowland Rabbits can have a maximum litter size of six and can give birth multiple times in a single calendar year.
As mentioned, the Venezuelan Lowland Rabbit exhibits the same kind of behavior as most other cottontail rabbits due to their status as a top prey for many different predators in South America. They are rather shy and protective of their own skin to make sure that they are not as easily available and vulnerable to their natural predators, which include lizards, snakes, bigger mammals, and even birds of prey.
In that regard, expect your Venezuelan Lowland Rabbit to stay pretty shy and reserved even after it has gotten used to life as a domesticated pet. It will most likely like to stay hidden in spots in its cage or will try to make itself discreet. This is normal behavior for an animal that has been so used to being prey items in the wild.
Venezuelan Lowland Rabbits are herbivores. Their diet is usually composed mainly of a wide variety of plant items found in the wild. They love eating grass, sprouts, leaves, buds, and fruits. During the winter period, when greens are not as abundant, it will be common for them to eat tree bark. Their favorite food tends to be clover and other types of vegetation found in South American wilds.
In captivity, you can safely feed your Venezuelan Lowland Rabbit with different types of edible grass that herbivores commonly eat. Hay can also be a good choice, as well as leafy greens and clover. You can opt to feed them vegetables such as carrots but be extra careful when feeding them with potatoes and grains as there are certain types of food that can be dangerous for them to eat.
Like any other animal, Venezuelan Lowland Rabbits need to drink water on a daily basis to stay hydrated. You can opt for a fountain-like water system to prevent contamination, but a water dish is already more than suitable for these rabbits so long as you are religious enough to replace the water with a fresh batch whenever it gets contaminated.
A Venezuelan Lowland Rabbit is not too choosy when it comes to the type of cage you house it in. However, it is always best to use a large enough cage because these rabbits can grow quite large. While they are usually not as active as some other species of rabbits, it is essential that there is enough room in the cage so that you can place hiding spots that will allow them to feel secure due to their shy nature as common favorites for predators in the wild.
It might be a good idea to go for a cage that does not have a lot of translucent or see-through sides to make sure that the Venezuelan Lowland Rabbit can easily find spots it can hide in or under. They do not like getting spotted out in the open and are best left feeling secured in a spot they feel safe to stay in.
Availability – Where to Get one
Venezuelan Lowland Rabbits are not very common compared to other types of cottontail rabbits that are native to the northern parts of America. Nevertheless, there might be some rabbit breeders that can tell you where to find these cottontails either online or from a local breeder or pet shop near you.
How to Care for a Venezuelan Lowland Rabbit
Venezuelan Lowland Rabbits are just like any other cottontail rabbit in the sense that it can be extra difficult and tricky to care for them. The main reason for such is that they are not used to a life of domestication and are not well-suited under captive care regardless of how well they are taken care of. They easily get stressed, especially when they are in captivity due to how they usually respond in the same way as they respond to when they are attacked by a predator in the wild. In that regard, as much as possible, go get yourself a captive-bred Venezuelan Lowland Rabbit than one that was caught in the wild so as to minimize the stress it feels under captivity.
Is the Venezuelan Lowland Rabbit a good pet to have?
It actually is not a good pet to have because the Venezuelan Lowland Rabbit easily gets stressed under captive care.
Are Venezuelan Lowland Rabbits easy to find?
While these rabbits can be quite common in the wilds of Western Venezuela, captive-bred ones are pretty rare in America.
Are Venezuelan Lowland Rabbits friendly?
Unlike rabbits that were bred for domestic purposes, Venezuelan Lowland Rabbits are quite docile and submissive instead of friendly due to how they are used to being seen as prey in the wild.
Do Venezuelan Lowland Rabbits love to play?
Venezuelan Lowland Rabbits are not the most playful type of cottontail rabbit and are pretty difficult to socialize with due to their shy demeanor.