Can Tommy Cooper's statue cut rise in unwanted rabbits?

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Tommy Cooper statueImage source, Caerphilly Media
Image caption,
The rabbit at Tommy Cooper's feet has become popular in its own right, according to Tudor Jones

A statue of Tommy Cooper is being used to raise awareness of the plight of unwanted pet rabbits - "just like that".

A competition has been set up to name the rabbit depicted with the statue of Cooper - known for his catchphrase and magic gags - in Caerphilly.

The RSPCA also wants to use it to highlight an influx of rabbits needing rehoming since the pandemic.

Cooper used models of rabbits in his tongue-in-cheek visual gags.

Image caption,
Tommy Cooper was born in Caerphilly in 1921

Tudor Jones, chairman of the Tommy Cooper Society and a former chairman of the RSPCA's local branch, said the idea for the competition came about as a way to highlight their charity work and the plight of pets.

"I was recently giving a talk to an audience in Caerphilly about Cooper's life and one of the ladies in attendance said her grandson loved nothing more than going to see the statue - not to see Tommy, but the rabbit instead," he said.

"This struck me as a great opportunity to name the rabbit."

Latest figures have revealed a 28% increase in rabbits needing rehoming in 2021, up to 859 compared with 672 from the year before.

Dr Jane Tyson from the charity said: "We look forward to hearing some of the amazing suggestions for a name which may even inspire us when naming the many rescue rabbits in our own centres looking for a new chance of forever home happiness."

Image source, Phil Halling | Geograph
Image caption,
The statue to Cooper and a rabbit was erected in 2008

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