Children at Oamaru's Casa Nova Kindergarten were saddened last week to hear their beloved pet baby bunnies had gone missing.
Buttercup, a "blue" rabbit, and Sleepy, a fawn-coloured rabbit, went missing last weekend after head teacher Sarah Newlands discovered the cage left open.
"We can't be 100 per cent sure they were taken by people but to know what has happened would give us a bit of closure," she says.
The 3-week-old rabbits had still been feeding from their mother and Newlands wasn't convinced the rabbits would survive long without her.
She says she would like to think someone was looking after them but it would be "difficult for someone to continue feeding them".
The kindy have been keeping the rabbits as a way to teach the children about respect for animals and responsibility for looking after a pet.
The baby rabbits were born at kindy and the children had already learned a lot.
Talia Familton, 4, says the rabbits had no fur when they were born and their eyes were closed. Her favourite thing about the rabbits was their nice fur.
She says it "wasn't very nice the bunnies were taken" and that all the kids feel sad.
Newlands says three baby rabbits were born to mother rabbit Bluebell and the remaining baby rabbit, Rolly, has also been feeling the loss of the separation.
"Rolly hasn't quite been the same. He's been very sad and scared. They were very relaxed when they were altogether, but now he just runs around," Newlands says.
- The Timaru Herald