Earless bunny accidentally killed

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In what is surely the saddest story of the week - if not the entire century - an earless bunny has been crushed to death just minutes before he was unveiled to the world.

The 17-day-old infant was born with a rare genetic condition meaning he had no ears.

He had become something of a local celebrity within his home town of Limbach-Oberfrohna, in Germany, and had just completed a photo shoot when he met his untimely demise.

In a cruel twist of fate, the bunny was about to be presented to the wider world via a press conference at a zoo in Saxony - but his moment of fame was tragically cut short when a nearby cameraman accidentally stepped on him, failing to spot him under a pile of hay.

"No one could have foreseen this," zoo director Uwe Dempewolf said. "Everyone here is upset. The cameraman was distraught and I am completely floored by the whole thing."

He said the bunny did not suffer: "It was a direct hit."

The late bunny is just one of a string of animals to become a feted celebrity in Germany over the past few years: other personalities include Paul the octopus, who correctly predicted the outcome of eight World Cup matches in 2010, and polar bear Knut, who died last year.

Picture credit: Press Association