A Bad Thing to 'Like': Barbecued Bunnies Get Politician in Trouble

In 2010, drug addicts killed two bunnies from a children's daycare center and barbecued them on site. They even brought ingredients along to season their dish. Now, in an illustration of the perils of making flippant remarks on the Internet, a local politician in Munich is in trouble for commenting "cool" on Facebook.

A rabbit enjoying the spring sunshine. Zoom
DPA

A rabbit enjoying the spring sunshine.

The rabbits were called Lieselotte and Hoppel and they lived in a daycare center for children -- until one Saturday in July, 2010. Drug addicts broke into the garden that night armed with a butcher's knife, hauled the bunnies out of their hutches and proceeded to grill them on a barbecue there, using coal left over from a summer party where children had played happily a few hours earlier.

The intruders had planned their sordid feast carefully, bringing along a sack of potatoes and peperoncini to spice up their meal.

The story has percolated around the Internet ever since, shared by people with a grim fascination for the depths of human nature. Now, just a few days before Easter, in a bizarre twist that exposes the danger of making casual comments on the Internet, the case has gotten a local politician from the Green Party in Munich in trouble.

Nikolaus Hoenning, who has hopes of becoming the Greens' candidate in the city's 2014 mayoral election, read the story on the page of a Facebook friend, clicked on the Like button and added the -- no doubt tongue-in-cheek -- comment "Coole Aktion," which means "Cool operation."

'Bunny Scandal'

According to Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper, that comment has brought him criticism from animal rights campaigners and party colleagues in Munich. One Green Party member said he had disqualified himself from running in the campaign. Süddeutsche referred to the case as Hoenning's "Bunny Scandal."

Judith Brettmeister, a member of the Munich branch of the Aktion Tier animal shelter organization, told local daily Abendzeitung: "One mustn't condone such a deplorable act by clicking on the Like button."

Hoenning said his comment had been "flippant" and he has deleted it from his page. "I don't think this will damage me," he said.

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