As good luck would have it, the feet are the last thing people bite off first from chocolate Easter rabbits.
The ears go first.
Detroit otolaryngologist Kathleen Yaremchuk and colleagues Vigen Darian and Amy M. Williams set out to find why so many rabbits of the chocolate persuasion lose their ears every spring.
The research led to this discovery: Of 28,113 surveyed online, 59 percent said they bite off the Easter bunny’s ears first.
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Thirty-three percent said they have no particular first-bite preference. Only 4 percent said they start by biting off the feet or tail. (The freaks are few.)
The study, called “Seasonality of auricular amputations in rabbits,” was published last month in The Laryngoscope journal.
Unafraid to bite off more than they could chew, the researchers pored through Google search data from 2012 to 2017 and found that these delicious dismemberments peaked from late March through mid-April every year.
That would be Easter season.
“Human adults and children appear to be wholly responsible for the reports of rabbit auricular amputations,” the study says.
The ear, nose and throat doctor told the New York Daily News that nibbling away at this topic kind of made sense because of her specialty.
“In the end, we’re talking about ears,” said Yaremchuk, head of otolaryngology — head and neck surgery — for the Henry Ford Medical Group.
Yes, the study is tongue-in-cheek, she admitted. But it did prove that few other holiday confections are as badly brutalized as the bunny.
“People don’t report eating Santa’s face,” she told the Daily News.
As for saving bitten bunnies, the study sadly offered very little hope.
“When considering reconstructive options, it is important to consider the anatomy of the chocolate rabbit ear, which can be quite variable,” it pointed out.
“The ears can be molded in both upright and lop positions, and either in profile or front facing, which is dependent on the artistic desires of the manufacturer.”
But once the ears are gone no amount of grafting or reconstructive surgery — or donations from a donor rabbit — can help because the rest of the rabbit is usually gone too, the study concluded.
What a tale.