Cats and Lizards and Monkeys, Oh My! 9 Islands Ruled by Animals – Live Science

Cuteness reigns supreme on Okunoshima, a Japanese island that was once the site of chemical weapons’ manufacturing and is now home to hundreds of cuddly, friendly bunnies.

How bunnies came to dominate the tiny island, which is in Hiroshima Prefecture in the Inland Sea, is a bit of a mystery. Rabbits were used for chemical weapons’ testing on the island during World War II, but those bunnies were probably euthanized after the war. Ellis Krauss, a professor of Japanese politics at the University of California, San Diego, told The Dodo that the current rabbit crop probably descends from pets released by schoolkids or tourists.

There are no natural predators for the rabbits on the island, and rabbits breed like, well… rabbits. As a result, there are around 700 of the hoppers hanging out on the island, according to estimates by the island’s tourism sites. Visitors feed them and even leave them bottled water, since the water on the island is contaminated from the munitions factory.