Swedish sheep-herding bunny becomes viral hit
Champis, the sheep herding bunny, watches the sheep on the farm / YouTube
STOCKHOLM - Champis the bunny doesn't only hop: He also knows how to herd his masters' flock of sheep, possibly having picked up on the skill after watching trained dogs do the job.
The five-year old pet rabbit from the small village of Kal in northern Sweden shot to online fame last week, garnering more than 700,000 YouTube hits, after a clip of his sheepherding skills surfaced on a blog.
The June video shows a persistent Champis running back and forth on the farm, trying to keep Nils-Erik and Greta Vigren's sheep together.
Dan Westman, a sheepdog breeder who shot and posted the video of his friends' remarkable bunny, said he was in awe when he first witnessed the phenomenon, noting Champis does the job even better than most dogs would.
"It's really incredible, it's a herding rabbit," he said. "He rounds them up, and if they get close to escaping through the gate he sometimes stops them," he said.
"I mean I work with sheepdogs and know how hard this is. There are very few dogs that could do what this rabbit does."
Westman, who's known both Champis and its owners for years, said the beige little mix-breed bunny had never been trained for the job but seemed to have learned the ropes all on his own.
"He's probably picked some of it up from watching the dogs, I mean he's doing what they do, but then again, he's a bit of a boss out there and lives with the other animals so maybe he just wants to keep them together."
Despite his tiny size, Westman said the sheep seem to pay their minder a world of respect, letting him herd them around when he feels they need some moving.
"I don't know what he thinks he is, but he does think he decides out there," Westman said.
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