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Cadbury's New Bunny Of The Year Is ... A Raccoon?

Louie the racoon as Cadbury Bunny
Louie the racoon as Cadbury Bunny - Cadbury

Cadbury has heralded Spring and the Easter season for decades with its bunny delivering chocolate eggs, but for the past six years, it has turned the crowning of the Bunny of the Year over to the chocolate-loving public. And today, the final votes have been tallied and the 2025 Bunny of the Year has been chosen: His name is Louie — and yes, Louie is a raccoon.

Louie is a two-year-old Florida raccoon who was rescued in 2021. He's no longer able to live in the wild, so instead he lives an advocate's life fundraising for wildlife rescue and rehabilitation centers. As the winner of the Cadbury Bunny Tryouts contest, Louie lands $7,000 in prize money and will be featured in a 2025 Cadbury commercial — his T.V. debut, says his owner Jaime Arslan.

In a new voting system for the 2024 contest, the 2025 Bunny of the Year was selected by popular vote in a "bracket-style elimination tournament on Instagram." The contest began on March 11 with "thirty-cute" semifinalists and closed on March 23 at 12 pm EST. Cadbury announced that the competition was stiff: Votes were being cast up until the last moments of the contest. In the end, Louie hopped ahead of Loki, a tabby cat dressed in a beige bunny costume.

Read more: 11 Discontinued Chocolates We Miss The Most

Louie Joins A Great Fluffle Of Other Bunnies

Cadbury eggs in easter basket
Cadbury eggs in easter basket - Freddiesfabdesign/Getty Images

Once upon a time, the Cadbury bunny was, well, a bunny. In recent years, though, the title has become much less restrictive, opening up to winners who look a little different but still represent the spirit of the Cadbury bunny. The final four this year required fans to choose between Sheldon the bunny, Gravy the cat, Loki the cat, and Louie the raccoon. What really matters is that they bring joy to this springtime tradition -- more joy than Cadbury's kale creme, beetroot jelly, and wasabi crunch chocolates did, anyway -- and Louie in his bunny ears certainly does.

Last year's Bunny Tryouts winner was Crash the Rescue Cat. Crash is a one-eyed cat from Idaho who was injured in a car crash. By winning the contest, Crash became the Bunny of the Year and won a total of $10,000: $5,000 for himself and his owner Maddie, and another $5,000 to donate to a rescue shelter. Previous winners included Annie Rose the Therapy Dog in 2022, Betty the Frog in 2021, Lieutenant Dan the Treeing Walker Coonhound in 2020, and Henri the English Bulldog in 2019.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.