Wild Rabbits Surf on Sheep to Flee New Zealand Flood

'The rabbits had a jolly good try at staying on'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 26, 2017 4:32 PM CDT

(Newser) – It was a woolly ride, but three wild rabbits managed to escape rising floodwaters in New Zealand by clambering aboard sheep and surfing to safety on their backs, the AP reports. Ferg Horne, 64, says he's been farming since he left school at age 15 and has never seen anything quite like it. He was trudging through pelting rain to rescue a neighbor's 40 sheep from the floodwaters on Saturday when he spotted some dark shapes from a distance. He was puzzled because he knew his neighbor didn't have any black-faced sheep. As he got closer, he thought it might be debris from the storm, which had drenched the area and forced Horne to evacuate his home. Then he saw the bedraggled rabbits hitching a ride—two on one sheep and a third on another sheep.

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"I couldn't believe it," Horne said. Nobody else would believe him either without proof, he thought, so he got out his phone to take a photo. In fact, he inadvertently shot a short video. Nevertheless, Horne managed to capture the moment. He said the sheep were huddled together on a high spot on the farm, standing in about 3 inches of water. He said the rabbits looked like they'd gotten wet but seemed quite comfortable and relaxed atop their mounts. Horne herded the sheep to a patch of dry ground on the farm. "As they jumped through the water, the rabbits had a jolly good try at staying on," he said. He said the rabbits appeared to cling onto the wool with their paws. The rabbits later climbed a hedge to safety. (Read more rabbits stories.)

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