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Giving Wildlife A Second Chance
Baby rabbits may be able to be put back in the nest.
If you have disturbed a nest of baby bunnies, place all material back in the nest and snuggle the bunnies down inside it. The nest will be lined with the mother’s fur. Use several long thin twigs about 15 inches long and cross on top of the nest to make a star. Check the nest the next morning to see if the twigs have been disturbed by the mother as she cares for the babies. The mother only comes to the nest twice a day, around dawn and dusk, to feed the babies. You may never see the mother as she is only with the babies for a few minutes and does not stay in the nest. If the nest looks as if the mother is not returning or if the babies look thin and cold or have ants or flies on them then call a rehabber immediately.
Only healthy babies should be placed back in the nest. Young rabbits are on their own at a very early age. If the rabbit had to be chased to be caught, it probably does not need rescuing. Put the rabbit back where it was found. Keep all cats, dogs and children away from nests.
Bunnies that are found cold, wet, injured or have maggots need to go to a rehabber immediately. Follow instructions for supplement heat on the former page under Injured and Orphaned Wildlife. Bunnies can jump at an early age so use a well ventilated box with a top. If a rabbit has been in a cat’s mouth, it needs antibiotics or it will not survive. If your cat or dog continues to bring up baby rabbits, follow the pet around the yard to try to locate the nest. Please, keep your cat and dog inside or on a leash for a couple of weeks until the rabbits have gone. If you do not keep your domestic animals away, the remaining rabbits will suffer a cruel death.
A word of warning….If you find a nest of baby rabbits, do not tell others. Children are very curious and when a nest is frequently disturbed the mother rabbit may not return to the nest.
If you are unable to locate a nest or the rabbit is injured, call a rehabber. Until you can get the rabbit to a rehabber, the most important help you can provide the animal is warmth. (Follow the basic instructions for supplemental heat on the former page…under Injured and Orphaned Wildlife.) Rabbits can die simply from the stress of being near humans…especially children. Do not handle the babies unless necessary and keep them in a quiet warm location until you reach a rehabber.
Do not give food or water to the animal. Call a rehabber.