Way back in 1999, one day Cully and I came home to our Belize City house to find a bunny in a box in the living room. Several guides were living there with us at the time, and we asked around, what’s the deal with the bunny? Kelly answered “Oh that’s my bunny, the vegetable man gave him to me.” We said, Kelly, what do you intend to do with this bunny when you are on the island guiding? She said “Oh I’ll just leave him a bunch of carrots.” We replied “FOR A WEEK?” So we decided we would have to take the bunny out to the island, and that’s how we came to favor a bunny as a resort pet. I named that bunny Lucky, because she was going to be bunny stew, and instead she got her own island. We had Lucky for 7 years. She taught herself to beg, she was extremely cute when she would reach up on her hind legs asking for a treat. She would always show up in the dining hall at mealtimes, especially when we were serving banana bread. Once Kendra caught her at the island dump, eating chocolate cake. She reportedly looked very guilty, and had chocolate icing all over her face. Lucky was incredibly popular. I still remember a wonderful guest named Vivian Chang saying “I would buy Lucky the Bunny t-shirts if you had them for sale.” We LOVED that bunny. She died in about 2004 during a trip, they came back from kayaking and she was lying on the path. It was a sad day on the island, and I got the news all the way back in Utah. If you visit the island you can pay your respects at her grave.
So the next year, we got a new bunny. We had a naming contest and decided to name him Zooae after Zooxanthellae, the algae that lives in symbiotic relations with coral. Zooae was our first boy bunny. He didn’t work out too well. He would run by you on the path and suddenly you realized your foot was wet. He had other inappropriate behaviors as well. We took him into Belize City to get fixed, and when we brought him back out to the island he disappeared into the jungle and we rarely saw him again; he died about two years later.
We were bunnyless for a few years, and then our guide Mario found Coco for us (another contest produced that name.) Coco was fantastic. She was already tame having come from a good Belizean home, but she only lasted one season, she died mysteriously during the summer. What a great bunny she was. I still miss her.
Then two years ago as a surprise the staff got me TWO bunnies. We always said we only wanted one, but suddenly there they were, two incredibly cute baby bunnies on the caye. We named the light colored one Honey and the black bunny is Papillon, because he is an escape artist. They arrived on the island in March of 2011, but that summer Honey got pregnant. So Honey was deported off the caye to live in Dangriga with Marcy, one of our island cooks, and Papillon is still there today.
Because Apolitico lives on the island year round, Papillon is bonded with him. He will come if Pol calls him, and he loves homemade tortillas and fresh coconut. He isn’t as tame as I wish he was but every once in a while he will let you scratch his ears.