Apparently a “pet detective” is an actual job, a realization that is making me rethink my entire career plan. And professional pet detective Robert Kenny’s latest case is the disappearance of Darius, a four-foot-long continental giant rabbit who went missing from his enclosure in Stoulton, England last weekend.
Darius is an unusual rabbit, both because he’s absolutely massive—he won the Guinness World Record for longest living rabbit in 2010—and because he’s lived for over a decade, when typically continental giant rabbits only have a life expectancy of four to five years. Darius belongs to Annette Edwards, who is offering a £2,000 (nearly $2,400) reward for his safe return.
Darius’s kidnapping also comes amidst a broader rise in pet theft in England during the coronavirus pandemic. According to the charity DogLost, reports of pet thefts rose by 170% over the past year.
Kenny’s business, the delightfully named Happy Tails Detective agency, has reunited hundreds of pets with their owners. If someone took Darius, Kenny says, they’re likely trying to get him out of the country in order to sell him. “It’s a very rural area so somebody has checked out this situation and the property well before this has happened,” Kenny explained. “It’s pretty clear that somebody would have had to look at the routine probably over two or three weeks prior to this happening.”
Roland White, the chairman of the National Continental Giant Rabbit Club and a member of the British Rabbit Council’s management committee, says that the demand for giant rabbits has increased in recent years. White used to breed continental giant rabbits himself but had to stop when they became too much to handle. “For the last 20 years, it’s been quiet. Then all of a sudden in the last six months everybody wants one of my rabbits,” White said.