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Black Market Rabbits Rescued by 'Bunny Lady'

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Photo by SusanG2 via Flickr

Photo by SusanG2 via Flickr
Everyday, illegal vendors sell baby animals in the Fashion District, and many sicken and die soon after they're taken home. But some are rescued by Lejla Hadzimuratovic, founder of Bunny World Foundation, who is profiled today by abc7.Sick baby rabbits, many contaminated with salmonella, need to be cared for in their infancy, but are often taken from their mothers too soon to be sold on a black market. Hadzimuratovic has been nicknamed "The Bunny Lady" because "she's put her life on hold, taking in some 800 baby bunnies confiscated by police on the streets of L.A. over the past two years."

She says the vendors in Downtown L.A. in Santee Alley know her, and they pack up and hide their animals when she comes by with the abc7 film crew. Back at her home, described as "an intensive-care unit of sorts for rescued bunnies," she tends to dozens of rabbits.

Rabbits fall victim to the illegal animal trade when they are sold off too young. Often new owners, many of them parents of children who are growing attached to the sick baby pets, are told by veterinarians they will face the loss of their new friend.

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The mission of the BWF is to get the animals rehabilitated and adopted into loving homes. They also hope to educate the public about the perils of the bunny black market.