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Szmolinsky estimates that it costs about $1,000 a year to feed the 60 bunnies he keeps in his yard. When you think that each full-grown rabbit has 15 pounds of meat on its bones, though, the payback is handsome.
Fifteen pounds is the equivalent of 60 hamburgers, but it's not all good eating. The 15 pounds include the liver, heart, stomach, and even the meat on the rabbits' gigantic heads.
As the old saying goes, they breed like rabbits. While one cow has one calf every year, one female rabbit can give birth to 16 bunnies in a year, and a male rabbit can impregnate two female rabbits every day.
Even if Szmolinsky doesn't ship any more rabbits to North Korea, if North Koreans breed the animals correctly, the 12 they already have could multiply to more than 1 million in just eight years.
Karl Szmolinsky sold the rabbits to Pyongyang so that they could be used to set up a breeding program to boost meat production in the Hermit Kingdom.
However, amid concerns that they have been eaten by the country’s leaders, Szmolinsky will not be sending any more.
The 68-year-old breeder had been due to travel to North Korea after Easter to provide advice on setting up a rabbit farm. A North Korean official rang him last week to say that the trip had been cancelled.