Gunnar Boettcher was working in his dad's garage shop when he first saw a rabbit with strange growths protruding from its head, the Mankato Free Press reports.
For fun, the Gustavus Adolphus College student later shot a video of the animal, in which he mimicked an Australian animal-hunting adventurer.
It was mostly for laughs between Boettcher and his brother, he told the Free Press. But he posted the video on Facebook, where it drew attention, and was later widely viewed on the photo- and video-sharing website Reddit, where nearly 2,000 have commented. It's had more than 200,000 views on YouTube.
Among the viewers were critics, who didn't like Boettcher making light of the animal's disease, and some suggested he try to help the animal. After some Internet searching, Boettcher suspects the rabbit has a cancer. Boettcher tells the Free Press: “It's a great idea to try to help him and make him healthy again, but it's a little ridiculous to blame me for not helping the rabbit and taking him to the vet when it's a wild rabbit. It's turning into a thing on animal rights. People are saying I'm mean for making it humorous, but it was just supposed to be something fun between me and my brother."
Here's the video: