If you thought the Pentagon chicken was impressive, wait until you hear about the Pentagon courtyard bunny.
In what might be the world’s fluffiest and most adorable infiltration of a secure military installation, a bunny was recently spotted hopping around in the 5.1 acre outdoor courtyard at the center of the headquarters of the U.S. Dept. of Defense, ARLnow has learned.
There is no official confirmation of the bunny’s existence — the DoD said it does not keep tabs on small, harmless animals in the courtyard — but we have obtained photographic evidence, above, and an eyewitness account.
“I just wanted to highlight that while the Pentagon Chicken is receiving its 15 minutes of fame, the Pentagon Bunny actually successfully infiltrated the Pentagon,” a tipster tells ARLnow. “It is currently living peacefully somewhere in the Pentagon’s courtyard, a location that is likely the most heavily guarded rabbit burrow on the planet… that is until the restaurant in the Courtyard decides to have an extremely locally sourced courtyard-to-table special.”
Given that it is outdoors and has plenty of trees and people eating meals, the courtyard is naturally a hangout spot for birds, which can simply fly in. It’s unclear how a bunny would have hopped into a place surrounded by five rings of some of the most secure office space on earth, though there are some theories.
“Aside from birds I have not seen any other wildlife. That is why I thought the rabbit was so notable,” the tipster said. “A bunch of us were trying to figure out how the rabbit made it into the courtyard since there are no obvious points of entry. The current hypothesis is that the bunny was carried into the courtyard by the hawks that were nesting in one of the trees and dropped before it was fed to the offspring.”
A Pentagon spokesperson sent an appropriately non-specific response to ARLnow’s inquiry about the small mammal that’s apparently living inside the courtyard’s five walls.
“From time to time there may be various species of animals on the reservation that make it to the Center Courtyard,” said Sue Gough, Department of Defense spokesperson. “We normally do not intervene unless the animals create a hazard to building occupants, or the animal is at risk from our activities. In those situations, we will try to have it leave on its own accord, or capture it and release it to the environment where it is distanced from our activities (e.g., land adjacent to Boundary Channel).”
Pressed about this particular bunny, the official word from the DoD — which is a bit busy at the moment — is that they’re not sure.
“We don’t track individual wildlife unless there is a safety hazard to building occupants or the animal,” Gough said.
The Pentagon chicken, on the other hand, attracted national media attention after the Animal Welfare League of Arlington revealed that it had taken custody of the rogue poultry at the request of the DoD, after it was found wandering around a secure area outside of the building.
The chicken went viral on social media, now has its own t-shirt line, and even earned a Jimmy Fallon-sung ballad on the Tonight Show.
Tiny Song: “Chicken at the Pentagon” #FallonTonight pic.twitter.com/k4z9SLeSxL
— The Tonight Show (@FallonTonight) February 2, 2022
While its feat of navigating the Pentagon reservation’s vast parking lots has nothing on the bunny’s complete infiltration of the place where military brass routinely dine al fresco, the chicken does have the distinction of attracting more attention from the DoD’s security apparatus.
Gough recounted the series of events that morning, at the end of last month.
“On Jan. 31 at approximately 6:40 a.m. EST, a chicken suddenly appeared on the southwest side of the Pentagon,” she wrote. “For security reasons, we cannot provide specific details of the location. Pentagon Police Officers notified Animal Welfare League of Arlington and they came and took custody of the chicken at approximately 7:20 a.m.”
AWLA, for its part, said last week that it has not been called back to the Pentagon for a bunny, which presumably means that while the chicken is headed to a wildlife sanctuary, the bunny remains on the lam inside the courtyard. As for theories from the professionals about how the bunny could have wound up where it did, an AWLA spokeswoman responded with an Ian Malcolm-esque quote.
“I suppose the internal courtyard would be tricky to get to but wildlife finds a way!” said AWLA’s Chelsea Jones.
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