Eastern Cottontails

The Eastern Cottontail Rabbit is one of the most common rabbit species in North America. The Eastern Cottontail can be found in meadows and shrubby areas in the eastern and south-central United States.

Does this Bunny Rabbit Need your Help?

Baby Bunnies 003Displaced: If you find a displaced baby bunny, chances are the mother is nearby or may be actively relocating the nest and the babies will not require your human interference. If you know for certain the mother is deceased, follow the “Orphaned” steps below. If they are not injured, eyes are open, ears erect and they are hopping they can be left alone. First, look closely for other babies which may also be nearby. Sometimes adult Rabbits build their nests in “not so safe” locations such as gardens or along fence lines and the nest can be easily disrupted from lawn mowers, dogs, cats and other predators. The mother checks her nest and feeds her young 2-3 times per day (dawn & dusk), leaving the nest in between to eat and also to focus predators away from the nest. If you know where the nest is (usually a shallow impression lined with grass and/or fur), place the babies carefully back in the nest and cover with some of the nest lining and thin twigs. Sprinkle a line of baby powder around the nest in a circle about 8 inches from the center of the nest. A mother rabbit usually doesn’t show herself if she detects anyone’s presence. Yes, you can gently handle a baby mammal and the mother will still care for it. Check back in a few hours and if you notice the powder line or sticks are altered or disturbed, most likely the mother has returned and it is probably safe to just leave them alone. If you do not see any activity, or the babies are out of the nest, have immediate predatory danger or expecting inclement weather, the babies will need your temporary assistance for their best chance for survival. Follow the “Orphaned” information below if this is the case. Baby bunnies are very fragile and stress very easily. Keep in mind scared or injured animals may bite and can also carry and transfer certain diseases and parasites such as mites. Wear gloves and use extreme care when handling any animal. Please call 941-637-3830 if you need wildlife rescue assistance or for us to guide you in the steps to rescue and transport the rabbit yourself. Please DO NOT keep the babies to care for yourself or to make as a pet, there is a lot involved in successfully rehabilitating wildlife. If you are interested in becoming a homecare specialist to foster baby mammals or becoming a Wildlife Rescuer and Transporter, please call us at (941) 637-3830 to learn about free classes.

also see: Marsh Rabbit that you may encounter in Florida.

 

Orphaned: If you find one orphaned baby bunny look carefully as there may be more nearby. A baby rabbit is considered orphaned only if the mother parent is confirmed to be deceased. If you are not positive the baby rabbit is actually an orphan, please follow the “Displaced” information above. Depending on the age, the rabbit will need supplemental formula to survive. It is best NOT to feed the rabbit any foods or formulas without knowing the specific proper diet that is required according to the rabbits age and health. However, it is very crucial to keep the rabbit warm and covered in a quiet stress free container. Make sure the container has holes and is lined with a pillow case and something warm until a wildlife rescuer arrives and the rabbit can be transported to your local wildlife rehabilitation center. Yes, you can gently handle a baby mammal and the mother will still care for it. If you need to have the rabbit for more than two hours, place the container partially on a heating pad set on low temperature. Keep in mind scared or injured animals may bite and can also carry and transfer certain diseases as well as parasites such as mites. Wear gloves and use extreme care when handling any animal. Please call 941-637-3830 if you need wildlife rescue assistance or for us to guide you in the steps to rescue and transport the rabbit yourself. Please DO NOT keep the babies to care for yourself or to make as a pet as there is a lot involved in successfully rehabilitating wildlife. If you are interested in becoming a homecare specialist to foster baby mammals or becoming a Wildlife Rescuer and Transporter, please call us for the next available free classes.

also see: Marsh Rabbit that you may encounter in Florida.

 

Injured: In may cases, it will be obvious that a rabbit is most likely injured. If this is the case, the rabbit will need immediate medical attention and be brought to your local Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. An injured rabbit will most likely be in pain, highly stressed and the animal may bite or be difficult for you to handle. It is very important to reduce the trauma and stress the rabbit is already feeling. Gently place a sheet or pillow case from head to toe over the distressed rabbit, wrap the sheet around the animal while being careful not to get bit, pick up and place into a secured container or box with air holes. Do not make any attempt to examine, medicate or feed the rabbit. Keep in mind scared or injured animals may bite and can also carry certain diseases and transfer parasites such as mites. Wear gloves and use extreme care when handling any animal. Please call 941-637-3830 if you need wildlife rescue assistance or for us to guide you in the steps to rescue and transport the rabbit yourself. Please DO NOT keep the babies to care for yourself or to make as a pet, there is a lot involved in successfully rehabilitating wildlife. If you are interested in becoming a homecare specialist to foster baby mammals or becoming a Wildlife Rescuer and Transporter, please call us for the next available free classes.

also see: Marsh Rabbit that you may encounter in Florida.

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