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An Indonesian Easter Bunny?

Just in Time for the Holidays, Scientist Find Rare Striped Rabbit in Sumatra Highlands.

(4/7/2007) News of the discovery of a presumed extinct species of rare striped rabbit in the Bukit Barisan National Park of West Sumatra surfaced last week, just in time for the Easter Holidays.

Perhaps the world's rarest species of rabbit, the nearly half-meter long Sumatran Striped Rabbit - (Nesolagus netscheri) is considered critically endangered with only 3 sightings of the animal in the past 35 years ago.

Found only in the Bukit Barisan Mountain Range, the most recent photographs of the animal on an automatic remote camera underlines the need for conservation of Sumatra's and Indonesia's diminishing jungle tracts.

"This rabbit is so poorly known that any proof of its continued existence at all is great news, and confirms the conservation importance of Sumatra's forests," Colin Poole, director of the Wildlife Conservation Society's Asia Program, said in a statement.

The other known specioes of Asian striped rabbit is equally rare and found in the Annamite Mountains of Vietnam and Laos. Although similar in appearance, genetic testing shows that the Sumatran and Annamite striped rabbits diverged nearly 8 million years ago.

Shown on balidiscovery.com, as an Easter offering to our readers, is a picture of the Sumatran Striped Rabbit.