Orville can be a reserved rat. He’s a bit shy with new people — until he sees them interacting with his best friend, a more gregarious bunny named Wilbur.
“We’ve noticed that if we start petting Wilbur, Orville will come see what we’re doing and sniff every inch of our hand. He’ll even sometimes start grooming us,” Jessica Jorgenson, a spokeswoman for Animal Rescue League of Iowa, tells The Dodo. “Whereas if we try to approach Orville first, he tends to initially shy away. He definitely draws confidence from his buddy Wilbur.”
Are you surprised to see a pair this cute and unusual? The shelter was, too!
Wilbur and Orville came into the Animal Rescue League of Iowa at the end of September, after being caught by local police in a trap that’d been set out for cats.
Both are young — about a year old, or even younger — healthy and obviously not wild. They also seemed to know each other well — probably having lived together, before either escaping or being set loose.
Once they got to the shelter, Orville clearly looked to Wilbur for safety and companionship — on the first day, when anyone tried to pick him up, Orville chose instead to burrow under the bunny’s belly.
Shelter staff housed the pair together and they’ve been happily ensconced ever since.
“Through a series of very lucky events, Wilbur and Orville found their way off of the streets where they were left to fend for themselves,” Stephanie Filer, the shelter’s manager of special gifts and partnerships, tells The Dodo. “The resiliency of animals continue to amaze us.”