VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Lord Roland Watson Beldon Maxwell VIII, aka Junior, a Virginia Beach rabbit considered to be the largest in the United States, died late last year from illness at the age of 5.
Once considered the runt of his litter, the Continental Giant grew to 25 pounds and was the official mascot of The Bunny Hutch, an exotic animal rescue that just closed its Virginia Beach facility in December.
Bunny Hutch owner Angela Maxwell says Junior’s health started to go downhill around November. He had problems with his feet and joints, which eventually wore him down.
Junior was born in Worcester, England on November 11, 2014, as the son of Darius, a 50-pound rabbit that holds the Guinness World Record for longest bunny at 4-foot-3 inches. He was donated to Maxwell when he was just 12 weeks old.
Junior served as the official animal ambassador for the rescue, sharing his escapades on Instagram and visiting local schools and libraries to promote children’s literacy.
A “total diva,” he loved riding in his stroller, hopping around his yard and snacking — especially on Goldfish crackers.
Junior was also Maxwell’s service animal. After breaking her foot last summer, she announced in October she was closing the Bunny Hutch’s physical location to travel across the country from New York to California in the spring with Junior.
The hefty rabbit even announced he would be a write-in candidate for president, with the slogan “adopt, don’t shop” to bring awareness to the challenges of owning exotic pets.