Do bunnies belong in your Easter basket?

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- It's a no-brainer that when we think of Easter, Easter Bunny is the first thing that comes to mind. But does a live bunny belong as a surprise in your Easter Basket? Animal experts say it may not be such a good idea.

“I can see why they would want to do it, because bunnies are so cute, especially baby bunnies,” said Sue Anderson, the reception at the Eau Claire Animal Hospital, and an animal lover.

The Eau Claire Humane Society say many of those cute faces will likely fill animal shelters shortly after the holiday is over and the novelty has worn off.

“Worse yet we have them turn up in Carson Park, running around the neighborhood because people think they can just forge for themselves, cause they're rabbits, but they don't know how to hide to get away, and they often get killed by dogs and cats. It's tragic what happens to the ones they let loose,” said Anderson.

“It's definitely not something for your young child unless you're willing to take up the responsibility of cleaning up after the animal and feeding it yourself. If it's an impulse buy don't put the bunny in the basket,” said Marcus Lahn, a father of a six-year-old boy, who also had rabbits himself as a child.

“If they're in a basket and everyone is going ‘ahh, look at the bunny!’ It's very, very scary(for the animal),” said Anderson.

Animal experts agree the cute balls of fur can make wonderful pets, but you have to be ready for them. Just like any pets they're more than just a weekend commitment.

“They're just wonderful pets, but many people don't realize that they can live ten years or more. They’re just as much work as a dog or a cat, and they need lots of attention,” said Anderson.

Bunnies as pets require special care, which can be pricey, so if you really want one for your children this year, there may be a more ‘budget friendly' alternative.

“I think this Easter if you want to get your child a bunny get a stuffed one or a chocolate one,” suggested Anderson.

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