This unfortunate looking creature is indeed a hairless rabbit. His name is Teddytassens Biran (he’s a foreign hairless rabbit given his name) and he was born without a lick of hair on him… as all rabbits are. Unlike most, though, this little guy took his sweet time getting his fur in. He was born to regular, fluffy parents (whom you can see here), and four siblings were normal with two (including lil teddy) being hairless. Sadly, his hairless sister didn’t make it. Teddytassens started getting his fur after several weeks but it still took some time before he looked completely normal.
After doing some research, I came upon Pet Rabbit World which had a post on these bald beasties. Sarah Giers, a US rabbit breeder, provided some info on the genetics of these rabbits and what exactly causes them to look so strange.
She says, “It is the fur less gene at work. It tends to appear more commonly in rex coated breeds, which is where I got it. Rabbits that carry the gene often display a bald patch on the forehead (or elsewhere, though normally on the forehead). That bald patch usually grows in as the rabbit gets older, but it is a good indicator that the rabbit carries the fur less gene. If a baby gets two fur less genes, it will look like the bald one in the picture (or sometimes it will be even more bald). There are actually a variety of bald rabbits that were developed for use in warm countries as a meat rabbit.
The genetics are reasonably well understood. A rabbit with no fur less gene (FF) will be totally normal. A rabbit with one fur less gene (Ff) will often display some balding as a baby, but that will usually grow in. Not all will display any balding. A rabbit with two fur less genes (ff) will be mostly or completely bald. In my experience the ff babies do seem to be rather weak and die, The Ff babies can sometimes be a little weaker, and they tend to need a little extra care, but once they reach about 4 weeks, they are fine. However, if a whole line of ff babies was developed, there must be stronger lines of fur less rabbits. I cannot imagine that it would be of any use to create a whole variety of fur less meat rabbits if the babies were so fragile.”
So, it would seem that Teddy here has one fur less gene and one normal gene (Ff) since his fur ultimately grew in:
As you can see, just because you start out as an ugly duckling (er, rabbit), there’s still hope for you yet!
And for your viewing pleasure, here’s a short video of another hairless rabbit: