Pet rabbit killed by vehicle after two animals abandoned at layby

Marius, rabbit abandoned in Moray.
Scottish SPCA: Marius was found abandoned on the B9016.Scottish SPCA

Two rabbits were found abandoned in a Moray layby, one of which died after being run over.

The Scottish SPCA was contacted by a member of the public who spotted a French lop-eared rabbit on the B9016 Keith to Buckie road on Wednesday.

When Scottish SPCA Senior Inspector Lesley Crockett arrived, she discovered a terrified grey rabbit sitting in the lay-by and a second dark brown rabbit, which had been killed after being hit by a vehicle.

The surviving rabbit is underweight and had extensive matting to his fur but is now recovering in the Scottish SPCA's care. He has been named Marius.

SI Crockett said: "It appears both rabbits were abandoned in the lay-by, which is approximately half way along the B9016. This is a busy road and, while it's tragic one was killed, it's not surprising.

"In my opinion, whoever dumped these rabbits couldn't have cared whether they lived or died. Marius is extremely lucky he wasn't injured or killed and we're very glad he is now safe.

"However, he is emaciated and his coat was badly matted and stained yellow as a result of sitting in his own urine.

"Marius is now receiving the care he needs but he is poorly and it's still early days. French lops are distinctive rabbits so it's possible someone may recognise Marius and be able to tell us who owned him.

"We'd ask anyone with information to contact us as soon as possible."

Abandoning an animal is an offence and anyone found guilty of doing so can expect to be banned from keeping animals for a fixed period or life.

Anyone with information is being urged to contact the Scottish SPCA Animal Helpline on 03000 999 999.