Spanning the top of the Indonesian Mountains is the southwestern montane forest—a type of forest with moss-cloaked ferns, orchids, lichens, and liverworts. Inside, the Sumatran Striped Rabbit hides from the world, remaining a secret to even the locals.

Size:14–16 inches
Weight:2–3 pounds
Similar Breeds:Yellow with brown and black stripes
Suitable for:Not suitable as a pet
Temperament:Fleeting, shy

Understanding its traits and personality is challenging, to say the least. But one thing is certain: the Sumatran Striped Rabbit is fleeting and shy.

This rabbit is light yellow with defining brown, almost black, stripes stretching across its back. It has upright ears, a black nose, and an orangish-red rump. We’re sorry to say that even though the markings are unique, the Sumatran is not a good pet to keep and may even be illegal.

Sumatran Striped Rabbit Breed Characteristics

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Sumatran Striped Rabbit

Can These Rabbits Be Kept as Pets?

Even if you could keep these rabbits as pets, they won’t make the best companions. These rabbits instinctually flee at any sign of danger and are very shy.

Does This Rabbit Get Along With Other Animals?

Sumatran Striped Rabbits are used to living amongst other animals, but living with pets is a different matter. Wild animals maintain their space and can run away when danger approaches. Sumatran Striped Rabbits also live in a particular climate very different from the US and thrive much better in their native land.


Things to Know About Sumatran Striped Rabbits

Scientists have deemed Sumatran Striped Rabbits as “data deficient,” meaning what they know is non-existent to limited at best.

Food & Diet Requirements

From what scientists know from previous encounters, the Sumatran Striped Rabbit feasts on leaves, grass, and wildflowers local to the montane forests. Many of these plants can only be found in the Indonesian montane forest.


Many plants native to the Sumatran Striped Rabbit’s native habitat can be found in local greenhouses. Oak trees, pitcher plants, ferns, laurels, orchids, moss, and rhododendrons stretch among the montane forest at different altitudes. It’s a very humid environment at high altitudes.

Exercise & Sleeping Needs

It’s unclear how active these rabbits are, but scientists know they are most active at night based on hidden forest cameras. The exact hours these rabbits are active, however, remains unknown.

Lifespan and Health Conditions

This is another area where scientists are unsure. We do know that the Sumatran Striped Rabbit is relatively small compared to other breeds, but this could vary based on gender and diet.

Despite the breed, rabbits are very similar, so we can assume the Sumatran Striped Rabbit faces the same medical issues as other rabbits. However, further research will need to support this.

Minor Conditions
  • Foot sores
  • Tooth decay
  • GI Stasis: slowing of the passage of food through the GI tract
Serious Conditions
  • Blood-borne illnesses from leeches
  • Snuffles: upper respiratory tract infection in rabbits
  • Parasites
  • Uterine problems


3 Little-Known Facts About the Sumatran Striped Rabbit

1. The Sumatran Striped Rabbit Was First Spotted in 1972

The Sumatran Striped Rabbit was first seen in the early 1970s. It was never seen again until 2021. Since then it has only been spotted three more times. One was in 2000 when an individual took a photo; another was in 2011 when a team of scientists took photos of the rabbit. The last time the rabbit was seen was in 2021 by a local farmer.

2. An Indonesian farmer Tried to Sell a Caught Sumatran Striped Rabbit

In 2021, a local Indonesian farmer saw the rabbit huddled on the beach after it had flooded. He captured the rabbit and tried to sell it via Facebook. Wildlife biologists located the farmer and explained the rabbit’s rarity. With their help, the farmer happily set the rabbit free.

3. Locals Don’t Know That the Sumatran Striped Rabbit Exists

The Sumatran Striped Rabbit is so rare that even Indonesian locals don’t know of its existence. The rabbit remains hidden from much of the world.


Final Thoughts

The Sumatran Striped Rabbit is a mysterious rabbit that the world wants to know more about. Even scientists know very little about the precious breed. As a naturally rare rabbit breed, the Sumatran Striped Rabbit remains threatened and should never be kept as a pet. They belong in the wild where they can run free, where hopefully scientists can learn more about their natural environment.

Featured Image Credit: homeyopito, Shutterstock