The owner of the world’s longest rabbit has been targeted by heartless trolls claiming they have seen her pet out and about.
World record-breaking bunny Darius was stolen from the home of his owner Annette Edwards who is now convinced her pet is dead.
But the devastated grandmother has been sent on several wild goose chases by online jokers who’ve claimed to have seen Darius.
Annette has now slammed the trolls, saying they have taken advantage of her with a string of deliberate bogus sightings.
“It’s just horrible. I’m just deeply, deeply upset that there are people out there who could do something like this,” Annette told BirminghamLive.
Darius, a four foot two inches long, pedigree Continental giant rabbit, was snatched from his enclosure, in Stoulton, Worcestershire, on Saturday, April 10.
Despite a £2,000 reward posted by former model Annette, who was in the trail quickly turned cold.
Darius, like his owner, is a Guinness Book of Records entrant – Annette held the record for being the oldest Page 3 girl. The bunny appears in the “world’s longest rabbit” category.
Because of the rabbit’s special dietary requirements, 70-year-old Annette gave him only three days to survive after he was swiped.
Age was also against the pampered pet. Darius was 12 – the equivalent of over 100-years-old for a human, so Annette now believes he is dead.
“I don’t think he will still be with us,” she said.
“He was extraordinarily old, and his special diet was keeping him alive – pellets and barley rings all mashed-up. When he was taken, I gave him two to three days.”
There were early fears Darius had been bunny napped and ransom demands were anticipated.
Annette now believes the motive for the heartless crime was not financial.
“My opinion is that it was done out of sheer spite,” she said. “It was the work of online bullies, people who make nasty comments without having to look someone in the eye.
“We’ve been sent on a couple of wild goose chases after people told us they’d seen him.”
When Darius was snatched, Annette took to Twitter to plead for his safe return. She posted: “Please bring him back”, adding he was too old to breed now.
Since the theft, she has “stepped up security massively”, but thankfully Annette still has Darius’ offspring to console her.
Jeff, Lewis and Mr Boss have overcome the trauma of losing their father and Mr Boss has just finished a fashion shoot for a leading children’s clothing company.
Both Darius and his owner have led colourful lives. The rabbit was looked on as a TV celebrity in Holland, a country which spawned the over-sized breed.
In the UK Darius appeared on ITV’s Alan Titchmarsh show too, but he retired from the public eye in 2018.
Annette has also spent years bathed in the media spotlight’s glow.
The grandmother-of-nine gained her place in the Guinness Book of World Records for peeling her clothes off at the age of 60.