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Rights group pleas for rabbit in Mandela statue's ear

Published on Jan 24, 2014 1:50 AM
Tiny rabbit is seen in the right ear of a 9-metre bronze statue of the late former South African President Nelson Mandela in Pretoria. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

JOHANNESBURG (AFP) - An animals rights group has applied to South Africa's government to adopt the bronze bunny secretly sculpted inside the right ear of a statue of Nelson Mandela.

Authorities this week ordered the little figure's removal after the artists included it without clearance.

But in a letter to Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile, animal rights organisation PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) asked to take in the orphaned animal.

It would "highlight the plight of the billions of rabbits and other wonderful animals who are slaughtered for their skins, used in forced labour, and kept in chains," the group said in the letter, forwarded to media.

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