Local

Hop on over to the LA Zoo to meet bunnies this Easter weekend

Youngsters enjoy the opportunity to pet a bunny rabbit at the Los Angeles Zoo's Big Bunny Spring Fling.
Youngsters enjoy the opportunity to pet a bunny rabbit at the Los Angeles Zoo's Big Bunny Spring Fling.
Jamie Pham

From learning about how well bunnies can smell to making your own rabbit ears, the Los Angeles Zoo's annual "Big Bunny's Spring Fling" is celebrating all things cotton-tailed this weekend. 

Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association spokeswoman Emily Marrin said families coming to the zoo can expect live entertainment, education stations and photo ops with a costumed "Big Bunny" himself.

The zoo is featuring its black bear, Sumatran Tiger, Asian elephants and Tasmanian devil brothers over the course of the Spring Fling — and of course the bunnies.

About a dozen bunnies will be brought into the zoo especially for the Big Bunny Spring Fling. The bunnies are from the Wildlife Learning Center, an animal education operation in Sylmar. They will return to the center after their visit to the zoo — a fate several "Easter bunnies" are not lucky enough to have. 

Guests with
Guests with "Big Bunny" at the Los Angeles Zoo's Big Bunny Spring Fling.
Jamie Pham

“We have volunteers and docents there to talk about the right way to pet the bunnies, the right way to handle them, how to behave around bunnies — so it’s a learning experience in a controlled environment,” Marrin told KPCC. 

David Riherd, director of  the Wildlife Learning Center, said bunnies require a lot of care and attention, which is why activists at Easter often warn against giving them to children as pets

“It’s Easter, they want something cute, they get them for their kids, and then it wears off, and they seek a new home for it," Riherd said. “We get requests for bunnies all the time, and we’re just at our capacity. We can’t take anymore bunnies.” 

Social media even has #MakeMineChocolate on Twitter to encourage people not to buy bunnies as gifts for Easter.

Big Bunny's Spring Fling will have an education experience where families can learn about when a bunny's ear position indicates it is "happy, or sad or hungry," Marrin said. 

Big Bunny's Spring Fling will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday through Sunday and is included with the zoo's general admission.