Love Stinks: After Skunk Passes, Bunny Dies of "Broken Heart"

Gordy and Alice spend twilight years together

By Olsen Ebright
|  Wednesday, Sep 30, 2009  |  Updated 3:10 PM PDT
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Valley Wildlife Care

Gordy the skunk and Alice the rabbit were able to spend their twilight years together as best friends.

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It's a star-crossed story set in a wildlife care center: Gordy the skunk and Alice the bunny, from two different worlds, meant to be together but separated for most of their lives by fate.

Gordy and Alice found romance at Valley Wildlife Care.

Gordy came from a rough and tumble background: He was 26 pounds when Valley Wildlife Care rescued him. The California Department of Fish and Game confiscated the skunk from "someone not only keeping him illegally, but abusing him by keeping him in a cage so small he could not even turn around," according to Valley Wildlife Care.

Gordy's owners taunted him and called him "fat skunk," said Brenda Varvarigos of Valley Wildlife Care.

"When we received him, he was so fat he couldn't walk -- he rolled," said Varvarigos. "It was so very sad."

After 6 months, Gordy was down to a trim 7 pounds, with rescuers monitoring his weight loss carefully to prevent kidney damage. Even so, his veterinarian said Gordy would not live more than a year.

Alice has abandonment issues: The white rabbit only showed up at Valley Wildlife Care after authorities found her in a trashcan at a dog park.

Despite their early setbacks in life, the two bonded immediately.

"Since their first introduction, they were inseparable," Varvarigos said. "The two quickly bonded and it became a friendship that no one would have ever expected."

Gordy survived longer than expected. But the happiness wouldn't last forever.

"Gordy passed away just a few months ago," Varvarigos said.

Like Juliette without her Romeo, Alice couldn't bear the loss. The diagnosis?

"We believe she died of a broken heart," Varvarigos said.

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