Meet Brian the bionic bunny at London Zoo
Monday 7 August 2000
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Date: Tuesday, 8 August 2000
Venue: London Zoo (entry via East Service Gate)
Contact: Susan Wilks, RPPR
Telephone: 020 7881 3232 or mobile: 07770 887 175
or, Debbie Curtis/Joe Laing/Peter Beatty, ZSL PR Office
Telephone: 020 7449 6363/6236/6361, mobile: 0589 043843
YOU’VE SEEN THE BIONIC MAN, NOW MEET BRIAN THE BIONIC BUNNY!
Meet a new kind of animal at London Zoo
Come and see one of the more unusual stars of the second series of the BBC1 documentary Zoo (the fascinating programme which goes behind the scenes of London Zoo and its sister Whipsnade Wild Animal Park) – Brian the bionic bunny. A cross between a toy Volkswagen Beetle and a London Zoo gift shop hand puppet, Brian has been developed by London Zoo keeper Andy Hallsworth to represent prey for Harry the Harris hawk, who ‘kills’ poor Brian daily as part of the Predatory Birds Display at London Zoo. Brian makes his small screen debut in tomorrow’s (Wednesday 9 August) episode of Zoo.
"We wanted to stimulate Harry’s hunting instinct," commented Andy, "so we created Brian to look like a living rabbit. At first Harry was cautious of Brian, but within a week he'd fly to him, and by the end of the second week he was in a display – a natural! Both of them are now a real hit with visitors."
Harris hawks, native of south-west America and parts of Mexico, are famed for their social hunting structure. Hunting as a team, one hawk remains on the ground flushing the rabbit into open space, whilst the other takes a high vantage point to swoop down on the prey.
Notes to Editors:
Breeding, feeding, sleeping, creeping, moving, staying, fighting, playing – Zoo is an intimate portrait of animals and keepers behind the scenes at London Zoo and Whipsnade Wild Animal Park.
Zoo is on BBC1 from 7.30pm every Wednesday evening
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