is shocking and scary. Hearing a bunny scream is especially frightening because they are so small and vulnerable. Recently I was serving up lunch to the south warren bunch of buns at Heartland Rabbit Rescue when one of the bunny folks screamed/shrieked three times in succession. The screams were sort of brief but loud and full of urgency and alarm and pain or terror. I ran over to the area the sound seemed to have arisen from but aside from lots of rabbits being on full alert (and some were thumping in alarm) I could see nothing wrong with anyone.
I then walked the whole warren inspecting each resident to see if I could find the distressed bunny, everyone looked ok, nothing seemed amiss...I did a full walk through two times and never could discover who screamed or what happened. Slowly all the rabbits settled back down and I finally went back to my previous task. Weird.
Later, when I told the Director about it she reminded me about one of her first experiences with bunny screams. When she first started taking in homeless bunnies, her first pair of what we call 'great whites' (actually they are formally called New Zealand White Rabbits...but they are Mexican in origin...go figure) were rabbits that had been used (tortured) in a laboratory. Their backs and sides were covered with one or two inch long scars that covered over where slits had been made in their backs and various substances inserted underneath their skin...to see what would happen. That sounds like something sadistic children might do to some helpless being...but nope...these were all grown-up humans doing this...just to make a buck.
Most, if not all, animal testing is obscene and unnecessary...it is done because it is cheap and few object and corporations think it might save their butts in a lawsuit. Here is a link to see what corporations test or don't test on other animals. Harming an innocent being just because you think it might do you some good is indefensible and repugnant.
The Director said that sometimes these bunnies would begin whimpering and then screaming in their sleep, they would be having traumatic dreams reliving what had happened to them in the laboratory. Experiencing 'night terrors' and nightmares reliving their fear and pain just like us human animals might do that have been subjected to torture and/or terrorizing incidents. They would awaken themselves with their screaming and then it would stop.
She speculated that the screaming might have come from a nightmare that maybe Pippin or Brett had experienced. She mentioned those two because both are fairly recent arrivals at the rescue and both were in situations wherein they had been terrorized. Both Pippin and Brett had been kept in outdoor cages where attempted attacks by dogs sometimes occurred (and whatever other nightime predators that might have been around). While their cage might have kept them safe from the attack it did nothing to keep them safe from terror.
We still don't know who screamed or why they screamed but it is important to realize that terror and pain and memories and nightmares and trauma are not experiences exclusive to human animals...all of us animals live on the same planet and experience life much the same and have an array of reactions that are very similar (some might be different, but the great majority are the same)...it isn't much of a stretch to say that we may look quite different on the outside but on the inside, where our feelings and our essential being resides, we are much the same.
The best way you can help ensure you don't add to the misery of our sister and brother animals is to go vegan, please....it does the animals good, the planet good and it does good for your standing as a worthy relative of all animals.