After seven weeks and two days on the run, a special toy rabbit has returned home thanks to the media and an eagle-eyed mum.

Bunny, the beloved soft toy of 4-year-old Darcey Archer-Page, which went missing from McDonald's in Botany last month, has been found at a local swimming pool.

"Darcey is like a changed girl, back to her old self again, it's like the sun has come out for her," mum Mandy Archer-Page said.

The return is the result of a social media campaign that attracted both newspaper and television attention.


At the time of Bunny's disappearance, Mrs Archer-Page said she knew the family's response was a bit extreme, but Bunny had been with Darcey since birth. Darcey was born with a hole in her heart - now healed - and Bunny went to all the appointments with her and often had his "tests" first to let the little girl know it would be okay.

Darcey's devotion was such that no other substitute would do, despite offers from around the world.

The family had almost given up hope - when on Tuesday Dena Lucas, of Mellons Bay, posted a picture of a well-worn soft toy to the "Bunny is Missing" Facebook page. Mrs Lucas said she had been with her children at Swimtastic pool in Glen Innes when she spotted the rabbit atop a lost property basket.

"I thought, that kind of reminds me of the one I saw on the news," Mrs Lucas said. "It was a funny place to find something like that, amid the T-shirts and goggles."

The next day, Mrs Archer-Page went to the pool and decided it was indeed Bunny.

"I took him on loan from the pool as the 100 per cent confirmation would have to come from Darcey herself, of course," she said. "Well, it took an age for Darcey's inspection - worse than a vehicle warrant of fitness, I tell you - but she finally confirmed this was her Bunny."

Mrs Archer-Page said the remnants of her name on a tag were there. The toy badly needed a bath, but it may have to be a stealth mission as Darcey was adamant she didn't want him in the washing machine.

Mrs Archer-Page wanted to thank everyone involved. "The power of social media has proven that people in this modern, fast-paced world still care."

Mrs Lucas said she was glad to be of help: "I have kids myself and one has a special bunny and one has a teddy and they just love them absolutely madly, so know what it's like when they lose a special thing like that."