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Earless Japan Rabbit Born Without Ears Sparks Nuclear Radiation Mutation Fears

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by hearit

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In The News

An earless rabbit is the first visual reminder in horrific, possible radiation effects caused by Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant --the accident following Japan's natural disasters of epic proportions, earthquake and tsunami.

Fukushima Dai-ichi is roughly 140 miles northeast of Tokyo, the power plant emitting radiation after the major earthquake that struck Japan. Now there's a bunny on the scene, being cast as a "nuclear rabbit" or "mutant rabbit". By all appearances, the bunny looks marred by mutations. Japanese People cite the fact the animal was both born and raised on "possibly contaminated" outdoor grass in the Fukushima prefecture's Namie City.

The animal's kind of missing body parts that virtually all rabbits have -- and should have.

The birth of the rabbit with no ears was just four weeks ago. The earless bunny is making people very uncomfortable -- and seems to make the side effects of nuclear exposure abundantly clear. The missing body parts are stoking fears that contamination from the damaged nuclear facility may cause human genetic mutations down the line.

While many in Japan worry that deformed human babies may be next, rabbit experts and radiation researchers told AOL the truth behind the baby bunny's bizarre looks could be less sensational than appearances. According to AOL, F. Ward Whicker -- professor emeritus at Colorado State University's Department of Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences -- told the news source via email communication:

"Yes, radiation can cause mutations that can be occasionally expressed as obvious birth defects, such as shown in the video. However, to say this [earless rabbit] is the result of contamination from the Fukushima [power plant] accident is a stretch, because natural radiation, as well as many other chemical substances in the environment and other factors, can also be mutagenic."

Scientists are scientists and do require proof. Rabbit expert Dana Krempels, a University of Miami biology professor, believes that only one video as evidence makes it impossible to know why the recently-born bunny has no ears. According to Krempels, who also heads the House Rabbit Society of Miami Chapter: "It is pretty much impossible to say whether this anomaly [of no ears at birth] is due to radiation. But it's very unlikely, in my opinion, that a failure to develop ears could be due to a single mutation," says Krempels. "But if more baby bunnies with physical anomalies show up in this [Fukushima] area, it's certainly a red flag."

Um, yeah -- a red flag or a screaming, red siren.

Cause and effect can be a tricky area -- but it's doubtful Mr. Whicker or Ms. Krempels are likely to be hanging out at Chernobyl over their next vacations.

Some things just can't be chalked up to coincidence -- like a rabbit with literally no ears, born at the site of one of the worst nuclear meltdowns in history. This isn't hearing loss, Mr. Whicker: it's, literally, no ears.


House Rabbit Society - Miami (Florida) Chapter Miami, FL
United States
Phone: (305) 284-3977
25° 47' 20.2884" N, 80° 13' 35.1804" W
Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant Fukushima
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