‘I knew it was dangerous but I couldn’t leave them to burn!’
The young California guy who was filmed frantically saving a rabbit from an inferno responded to criticism from wildlife nuts, and from others who said he put himself and firefighters in danger.
Oscar Gonzalez, 19, was hailed as a “hero” by thousands of people on social media after a video that went viral showed him jumping up and down in desperation as he tried to save the rabbit with flames roaring all around.
Gonzalez, who lives in Pacoima with his fiancée and their five-month-old daughter, said he was driving a friend home from work in Sylmar when he said he saw the white rabbit bounding along the side of Highway 1 to escape the flames.
‘I have animals myself I didn’t want the poor rabbit to get hurt,” he said. “I knew it was dangerous but I couldn’t leave them to burn!”
The frightened animal ran away from him initially as Gonzalez jumped up and down yelling, “What are you doing?!”
Suddenly the rabbit turned around and ran back toward him and into his open arms.
The rabbit rescuer hurried to the other side of the highway where there were no flames and set the animal free.
Some wildlife spoilers said that was the wrong thing to do and criticized him for separating the rabbit from a litter of young bunnies.
But Gonzalez said that wasn’t the case, and in fact he saved the entire “rabbit family.”
He’s still a hero to thousands on social media, and certainly in the eyes of his fiancée.