Lionhead Rabbit

Oryctolagus cuniculus

Lionhead is a breed of domestic rabbit that is recognized by both the British Rabbit Council and the American Rabbit Breeders Association. Looking at these rabbits they have a wool mane encircling the head, reminiscent of a male lion as its name implies. A few other key characteristics include a high head mount, compact upright body, short furred ears, and weight of 2.5 to 3.75 pounds. The Lionhead rabbit has a small, compact body, with a furry bold head. According to breed standards the Lionheads mane must be at least 2 inches long and forms a full circle around the head, extending to a ‘V’ at the back of the neck. Some Lionheads have longer fur on the cheeks and chest, with their outgoing personalities they’ve become very popular pets in the United States.

The Lionhead rabbit originated in France and Belgium. It is reported to have been produced by breeders trying to breed a long-coated dwarf rabbit by crossing a miniature Swiss Fox and Netherland dwarf. This resulted in a genetic mutation with fur appearing around the head and on the flanks. This genetic mutation has come to be known as the “mane” gene. Depending on the number of genes a Lionhead gets from each parent, it can have a double mane (two manes) genes or a single mane (one mane gene). You can only tell if a Lionhead is a single or double mane when it’s first born. A double mane will have a noticeable V form around their flanks, while a single mane will look like a common rabbit.

Lionhead Rabbit Map - Cub Creek Science Camp

Lionhead Rabbits first originated in Belgium, and have since been transported throughout Europe and North America.

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HABITAT -Being a domesticated breed these rabbits live in human controlled environments.

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DIET -The majority of the diet should be hay, with supplemented seeds, fruits, and vegetables.

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FUN FACT -The mane of these mini rabbits encircles their tiny heads, bearing a resemblance to the mane of a lion.

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SOCIAL BEHAVIOR -Rabbits are very sociable animals, they live in colonies.

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ACTIVITY -Rabbits are known to be crepuscular, being most active at dawn and dusk.

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PREDATORS -With domestic rabbits common predators are pet dogs and cats, foxes, and weasels.

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SIZE -They can grow up to 8 - 10 inches, weighing between 2.5 - 3.75 pounds.

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RELATIVES -Relatives include the Swiss Fox Rabbit and Netherland Dwarf Rabbit.

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CONSERVATION -Lionhead Rabbits are categorized as NE (Not Evaluated) species by the IUCN.

Cub Creek Animal Care Information

Housing - Our Lionhead rabbit lives in a specialized inclosure in the Jungle. Their enclosure gives them plenty of room to hop around and explore. Their enclosure is bedded with shavings to help keep things clean, always allowing access to clean water. This enclosure also has plenty of hiding spaces to make them feel relaxed and comfortable.

Diet - We feed our Lionhead a balanced diet of vegetables and dry food to ensure they get all the nutrition they need. They’ll eat sweet potato, lettuce, and rabbit pellets. This diet provides well balanced nutrition of protein, vitamins, and minerals. Of course they also love their special treats like dehydrated fruits and other green vegetables.

Enrichment - We make sure to give plenty of time and attention to our Lionhead Rabbit, they are very sociable and playful with campers. During the summertime, campers will make them special toys from cardboard and other materials. They also get special treats made for them out of vegetables, the campers love making them, and our rabbits enjoy the attention.