Just in time for your daily dose of adorable, there is news that Lionhead rabbits are becoming increasingly popular in the United States. The cute little critters have poked their wiggly noses into the limelight partially because of a 4-H show in Shelby county, Indiana, where many Lionheads were represented in a competition. Though, this instance is more of an example of their popularity, rather than the definition of it; Lionheads have been gaining popularity ever since their debut on Earth in the early 1900's.
According to lionheadrabbit.org, Lionhead rabbits originated in Belgium, and were the result of cross-breeding between Belgian Dwarf rabbits and Swiss Fox rabbits. The controlled mutation and titular characteristic of these little cuties is the "mane" of slightly longer hair that grows around their necks, causing them to resemble lions.
These bunnies are neither carnivorous nor ferocious like their big-cat namesakes, however. Since their debut in the states in the early 2000's, they have skyrocketed in demand among both rabbit hobbyists and as domestic companions, and for good reason. Lionhead rabbits are friendly and easily trained, making them ideal pets for kids of all ages. The fact that they are fluffy and precious is just an added bonus.
Lionhead rabbits are not yet recognized by the American Rabbit Breeder’s Association (ARBA), but are under official presentation in order to be recognized as a "real" breed. This process can take up to five years, according to lionheadrabbit.org. The species is already ordained in Europe by the British Rabbit Council (BRC).
Despite their lack of official record here in the states, at least for the moment, these bunnies are widely loved and accepted. This is perhaps best exemplified by Lexi Wilkin's quote in the Shelby county news. When asked about owning rabbits and her six-month-old Lionhead, Oreo, she said, "I have fun with them." And how could one not have fun with such a cute, furry face to love on?