*Please Note: This page DOES NOT contain graphic photographs of Nala. Out of respect to those who cannot handle these upsetting photographs, they have been placed on a separate page. There is a link below where you can view the photographs of Nala. We believe that it is important for people to see realities of what these abandoned bunnies face as well as to see how damaging these Botflies can be! After all, it is not just abandoned bunnies who pick up Botflies, as any bunny exposed to the outdoors can pick them up easily.*
Nala bunny’s story begins like so many other domestic rabbits. Once a child’s pet, she was eventually discarded when the family could no longer, or no longer wanted to, care for her. In Nala’s case, the family moved from their home, and the bunny was let loose outside, left behind to fend for herself as the family drove away. It’s been about a month or so since Nala’s owners abandoned her, which has no doubt been a month of constant fear and struggle. You see, domestic rabbits are not related to the wild rabbits we have in the states and have no defenses or resistance to the dangers or diseases they face in the wild. Facing starvation, disease and prey or every predator, it’s amazing that Nala survived long enough to be found.
But she was a clever bunny, who the neighborhood kids got used to seeing in their yards. They would later come to name her Nala, after the lioness from the Lion King. Word got around that there was a bunny left behind and on the loose, and the news eventually reached us here at the GHRS.
One of our experienced volunteers sought out to catch the Nala and expected the usual chase, but Nala didn’t have the energy to run. So sick and lifeless from injury and infection, she allowed the volunteer to pick her right up. Ironically, her inability to run is what saved Nala this day, because left out in the wild much longer, Nala wouldn’t have survived. In fact, it’s amazing to us all that she survived the suffering and illness she’s experienced.
Once Nala was in our care, it was quickly discovered that she needed urgent medical attention. She seemed to limp and favor one side, one eye looked terribly damaged, one ear was down, so crusted over that it attached itself to the fur on her around her head and neck. And then there were the bumps and lumps. We knew she needed help and Nala was taken to Dr. Colby of the Windward Animal Hospital right away.
Once there, Nala had to undergo surgery, as they found several Botflies infections that were taking a terrible toll on her health. She was swollen and abcessed from these injuries and they needed immediate removal!
Botflies could possibly be one of the most disgusting and common complications of living outdoors. These large flies lay eggs in the soil, which are the picked up on the coats of rabbits. The larva then make their way into the skin and further into their bunny host, so they can develop. Eventually, they become quite large and work their way back out, but in the meantime they create a very large cavity and injury, which is no doubt a very painful condition for the bunny in question. These Botfly invaders leave their victims with infection and abcesses to fight off and damage to their body or organs.
In the case of Nala, she suffered from a botfly strike to her temple and sadly, it compromised her eye. Though there is a chance of saving her eye’s vision, it needs a lot of care and an equal portion of good luck for it to be saved. Thankfully, our volunteer, Jennifer, has also agreed to be her foster home and is taking great care of her!
There were many other injuries that Nala suffered through, including more Boyfly strikes and abcesses, malnutrition, and growths. She has several more vet visits to endure before we know the full extent of her condition, though we remain hopeful that she will recover. Nala is one of those special buns, buns we call “Warrior Bunnies.” Against all odds, and without any love or companionship, Nala had the spirit to survive! We are committed to honoring her warrior spirit and will do everything possible to se her through these difficult times and put her on the path to happiness!
If you would like to help with Nala’s extensive medical bills, you can donate to the GHRS below
Steady reports are coming in from nala’s rescuer and foster mom, Jennifer. We will warn you that some of the information is rather descriptive and therefore, upsetting, so be prepared. We believe it is worth reading though. We will be getting in and posting regular updates on Nala’s progress and recovery, so please follow her progress both her and on Facebook.