Readers who have been following my linkurl:coverage of attempts to save the endangered pygmy rabbit;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/daily/53232/ may remember linkurl:Onyx, ;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/53292/ a male rabbit I accompanied in April as his keepers moved him into temporary quarters to see how he would do in a ''prerelease setting.'' Onyx, who is 75% Columbia Basin rabbit and 25% Idaho rabbit -- the Columbia rabbits are officially endangered, and there has linkurl:been a petition;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/53716/ to list the Idaho rabbits as endangered -- was bred in captivity. The hope was that he would eventually be released into the wild, and that the mix of genes would help him avoid many of the problems from which the highly inbred Columbia rabbits suffer. Those hopes were dashed on October 16, I just learned, when Onyx was euthanized after being diagnosed with knee arthritis and pneumonia the week before. He had lost 20% of his body weight over the past...
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