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Breeding money like rabbits

Reception class teacher Zoe Nicholson hadn't planned to start a fundraising drive - but when two rabbits got together her scheme took off of its own accord: Roger the rabbit, bought by the school, Midhurst Primary in West Sussex, at a cost of Pounds 15, and Snowy, a female rabbit brought in by a teacher. The first time they mated, Zoe had nothing to do with it - but when they produced a litter of nine kittens, she sold them, and raised Pounds 90.

When she decided the school pets could do with a new open-plan zoo area to live in, she started them breeding on purpose, and after four healthy litters has raised Pounds 300. It's paid for an extensive 4ft fence, and provided plants for the school pond. Roger was killed by a dog, then replaced by Flash, who failed to live up to his name, but black rabbit, Wrighty, lent by a pupil, is now doing the business. He'll be performing in a new fundraising drive next spring.

"We've created bunny heaven," says Zoe Nicholdson. "And instead of children gathering round a hutch they can now sit on the floor and the rabbits and guinea pigs can run over them. We couldn't have done any of it without the rabbits' help."

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