Bunny breeder Betty Chu is the proud owner of the world’s furriest rabbits – whose hair can measure almost 15in long.
The 70-year-old has dedicated the last 34 years of her life to producing prize-winning English angora rabbits. She lives with 50 of them at her home in San Jose, California, and is so dedicated she hasn’t holidayed with her husband since 1992.
‘I was introduced to the rabbits through a friend and as soon as I saw them I fell in love and knew I had to have them,’ says Betty, who is part of the Northern California Angora Guild and competes at up to 50 shows a year.
She is the undisputed queen of the angora category, with countless best-in-show awards to her name. But she really hit headlines when her top rabbit Franchesca entered the Guinness Book of World Records last year as the rabbit with the longest hair in the world – measuring 14.37in.
Recently Franchesca has had her fur trimmed down in order to produce the next generation of prize-winning bunnies.
‘In order for Franchesca to become a mother she has to be able meet a boyfriend,’ says Betty. ‘Unfortunately the boyfriend does not have the right equipment to find her hidden treasure when she has her long coat – so she has to go naked in order to be sexy.’
The keen knitter uses the fur to make scarves, mittens and sweaters to sell at shows. And despite the hours of love and affection she showers on her fuzzy pets, she maintains her husband Albert doesn’t get jealous.
However, it has taken its toll on their holiday plans.
‘The last time we went out of town on vacation and it was just the two of us was 1992 – because one of us has to stay home to look after the rabbits,’ says Betty.
‘I will never take a break from them. They come with me wherever I go.’