Friday, 23 July 2010

Rabbit Dentistry

I suspect you thought this would be about lettuce, carrots or even the odd radish but no, the rabbits of Winchester, in Hampshire, have more expensive tastes. Why grind your teeth down on a carrot when a handy antenna support is even better?

Scientists at the University of Portsmouth (does every town in England now have a university?) planted 96 low-band radio antennas in a field the size of two football pitches in order to collect radio signals emminating from space.

But the rabbits are gnawing through the supports of the structures to grind their teeth down, forcing maintenance teams to visit repeatedly to stop the 4ft 6in antennas from toppling over. A metre-high fence, embedded in the groud is now being built around the site in Winchester to stop the animals getting in or burrowing underneath.

Professor Bob Nicol, from the university's Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation said:

"These rabbits are doing what furry little creatures naturally do and that's gnaw stuff to keep their teeth down.

"The cables are like cords you buy for camping so they're not particularly valuable but without them the antennas could topple over and we're trying to keep maintenance costs low.

Poor bunnies, but it's all in a good cause. Can't have them interrupting a million pound project to map the history of the universe can we?


JRB said...

Its obvious …

Why do you think bunnies have such large ears?

They are in direct communication with aliens from far out in the cosmos. As these aliens wish to maintain their anonymity, the have instructed the bunnies to destroy the antennae.

In ancient Chinese, Japanese and Korean mythology, people believed that rabbits came from the moon.
And in the mythology of the North American Indians, the Great Rabbit is a very important deity involved in the creation of the world.
In rural Dorset, the word ‘rabbit’ is cursed and said to bring bad luck. They never call the creature by name, but rather call it ‘big ears’.

Never underestimate the powers of Oryctolagus cuniculus - you have been warned!

Dramfineday said...

Any chance they could have a pop at mobile phone masts and the cables of personal music players?? Turning into my house the other day and a fair maiden almost became a mascot on the front of my car. Head down texting, while tuned into some music, walking in the middle of the left side of a sharp left hand bend...........It was the looks that did it realy, Look one: Where am I? Look two: you basket you nearly run me down - and more importantly, you interupted my world!!

Rabbit leader to all rabbits - help! (Nurse the screens, he's off again)

subrosa said...

Thank you John. I shall take your warning very seriously. I did know about the Dorset folklore but not the rest.

subrosa said...

I don't know why they're attracted to these particular cables Dram as I always thought they used wood. Before I put up chicken wire they used to enjoy my fence posts.

Leg-iron said...

There's only one way to keep rabbits out, and that is to do your best to keep them in.

They invented 'cantankerous'.

Moles are the same.

subrosa said...

Ah LI, now there's an idea. As for moles, I've had them now and again. Was told by an old gardener years ago to build myself up into just a wee rage, get a shovel then wander round the grass belting it with the back of the shovel. It doesn't harm the grass and the moles scatter like sawdust in the wind.

Related Posts with Thumbnails