LONDON — Have you seen Darius, the world’s longest rabbit?
Four feet long and weighing 50 pounds, the heavyweight bunny should be easy to spot. But he went missing this past weekend, and now the police are involved, appealing for information about his apparent abduction from his home in a small English village.
Darius’s owner, Annette Edwards, has offered a reward of 2,000 pounds, about $2,745, for his safe return, no questions asked. She detailed his disappearance on Sunday from her home in Stoulton, England, in a post on Twitter, calling it a “very sad day.” She added that the rabbit was too old to breed now, “So please bring him back.”
A former model turned rabbit breeder who has held four world-record titles for the size of her animals, Ms. Edwards has previously sold Darius’s offspring for as much as £250 each.
“It’s just so upsetting because he is such a lovable character,” she told the British newspaper The Telegraph, adding that Darius, who is largely retired from public appearances, was on a special diet for his age and would die without it.
Ms. Edwards did not immediately respond on Tuesday to a request for comment. But the police responsible for the area have, ahem, hopped on the case, appealing for those with information about the theft to come forward. The police say that they believe the rabbit was stolen from an enclosure in Ms. Edwards’s garden on Saturday.
Darius was crowned the world’s longest rabbit by the Guinness World Records in 2010. In a 2019 interview with the Canadian broadcaster CBC, Ms. Edwards described Darius, a type of domestic rabbit known as a Continental Giant that was historically bred for its meat and fur, as “an old man” who “can be a bit grumpy.” Still, she added, “he hasn’t lost his sparkle.”
Darius drew attention online and traveled across the country for events alongside Ms. Edwards, who often appeared with him dressed as the cartoon character Jessica Rabbit. Darius was insured for $1.6 million and traveled with a bodyguard, according to NBC’s Today show in a 2010 article.
But his reign as the world’s longest rabbit was already under threat from his own offspring, some of whom also measure over four feet long.
“They’re very special, they’re different,” Ms. Edwards said of her pets in the CBC interview. “They’re a lovely creature, very gentle,” she added, describing them as “more like dogs than rabbits.”