Baby Bunny Was Lost — Until He Found A Tortoise To Be His Friend
"The little bunny just needed some comfort, and Wamba provided that."
Everybody could use a friend in times of need — and tiny baby hares are certainly no exception.
Fortunately for this fluffy little orphan who had been clinging to life all alone, he found just that.
Ron Brink, who works as lead ranger for the Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain hotel in Arizona, discovered the wild-born bunny one morning last weekend while checking in on the facility's resident pet — an African tortoise named Wamba.
Turns out, Wamba had found the bunny first.
The evening before had been particularly chilly, and the lost bunny had somehow managed to descend from the surrounding hills and hop into Wamba's night shelter, which is equipped with a heat lamp. Rather than drive the little visitor out of her cozy abode, the much bigger tortoise was surprisingly accommodating.
"Wamba could have scared the bunny away, but she accepted him," Brink told The Dodo. And what a difference it made.
Had Wamba scared the bunny away, Brink would never have discovered that he was in desperate need of help.
"We found that the bunny had stuff wrapped around his neck, like grass and weeds," he said. "There were four layers of this plant matter wrapped around, constricting so tightly it was embedded in his skin."
Brink managed to remove the choking plants, as the tortoise looked on. There's little doubt he wouldn't have survived much longer, if not for Wamba's hospitality.
Wamba knows a thing or two about being accepted. She was the size of a silver dollar when Brink adopted her from a friend who couldn't keep her; 11 years later, she's a happy, healthy 50-pound adult.
That's a lesson she apparently learned to pay forward.
"The little bunny just needed some comfort, and Wamba provided that," Brink said. "It's incredible."
The bunny has bounced back, so to speak, since Wamba and Brink helped him out of his binds. In the coming weeks, he'll remain under their care until he's strong enough to be released back into the wild.
But if he decides to stick around with his new tortoise friend instead, that'll be more than OK, too.