Enderby Island Rabbit: The Gourmet Rival

The Enderby Island Rabbit known as “Enderby Island” or simply “Enderby” are descendants of rabbits taken from Australia and released on the subantarctic island of Enderby in the group of islands of Auckland in early October 1865. Here they spawned a population of Rabbits that had to remain in isolation for almost 130 years.

For several years, all the animals remained owned by the Rare Breeds Conservation Society of New Zealand, with breeding programs carried out by individual caregivers. Some animals are now available for purchase by private enthusiasts. Some have been exported to North America.

Enderby Island Rabbit

Enderby is not recognized by the BRC (British Rabbit Council) or ARBA (American Rabbit Breeders Association). It is also known as Enderby Rabbit or Enderby and is a rare breed.

Characteristics of Enderby Island Rabbit

There are two varieties of Enderby Island rabbits. They come mainly in silver-gray but a very small percentage is born cream or beige. The Enderby Island Rabbit is small to medium in size. Although descended from silver grays that weigh between 8 to 9 pounds. The rabbit of Enderby Island has evolved to be a little smaller with an average weight ranging from 3 to 4 pounds.

The Enderby Island Rabbit is quite thin in bone, narrow in the body with very daring eyes. His head is a perfect “V” placed on his side. the head looks quite small for the body. His ears are thin and carried in a vertical ‘V’ with darker and silvery skin lighter than the rest of the body.

Most of the Enderby Island rabbits have a distinctive silvery gray color with a dark slate blue undercoat. Their heads, ears, and tails are much darker often being black. As with silver-gray rabbits, a very small percentage is born cream or beige a shadow produced by a recessive gene.

Fur coat

The body is quite silver in most animals, with 80% silver. The extremities, head, ears, feet, and tail are much darker and only slightly silvery, with a pronounced butterfly marking on the nose. The coat is different from the Silver breed. It is more open, longer and softer in texture. Young rabbits can be quite slow to silver. It may require 6 to 8 months to complete the cycle. Adults become silver over the years.


They can be quite nervous and have a lookout for predators all the time. This makes them want to burrow and hide naturally. However, with a lot of treats, attention, and preparation, they can learn to trust and love their caregiver and show this affection with kisses, licks, and binky when they are happy and content.


Enderby Island rabbits naturally evolved from English silver grays for the sole purpose of providing food for any shipwrecked sailors or passengers on the southernmost islands of New Zealand.

Care and Management

The Enderby Island Rabbit can be very affectionate, especially when a treat or food is on offer. They are very clean and tidy rabbits too. Especially have a tendency to keep their next area in the form of ship condition.

They love being outside and have not really been adapted for indoor environments. The race evolved from a very cold, sub-Antarctic island. Their diet is the same for any other rabbit. They can be a bit greedy. They do not carry excess weight.

Special Feature

A breeding group of 49 rabbits was removed from the Island in September 1992. Most of the rabbits on the island of Enderby have a distinctive silvery gray color with an undercoat of dark slate blue. This unusual coloration has led to a suggestion that the original animals released were the French Champagne Argente rabbit.

There is no solid evidence to support this rather romantic assumption. Although it was widely believed until recently when it has been suggested that the original rabbits that were thrown are more likely to have been British Silver Grays.


The Enderby Island Rabbit is a rare breed of the domesticated European rabbit. It originates from rabbits introduced to the uninhabited subantarctic island in New Zealand’s Auckland Islands group, from Australia in October 1865. These animals were brought there with the intention that they would serve as castaway food for any future shipwrecked sailors who may find themselves stranded on this remote speck of land. We hope this guide has helped you understand the history of the Enderby Island rabbit, what makes it a unique breed, and how to care for one. Good luck!

As A Reference: Wikipedia

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