As we approach the warmer weather, flowers start to bloom and telltale signs of spring come into view. In many places, that means baby bunnies are aplenty, particularly in parts of Europe and North America, the latter of which is home to more than half of the world’s rabbit population.
Rabbits’ mating season runs from March through September, and with most rabbits, pregnancies last for about 30 days, and thus it’s no wonder why spring signals the arrival of newborn bunnies.
If you’re wondering what to do if you come across a nest, here are a few helpful tips to remember.
According to a Facebook post, rabbits are the most frequently “kidnapped” species of mammal. Many people come across rabbit nests during the spring and mistake them to be orphans, but most of the time, this just isn’t the case, and removing them from their nest will only cause them stress, injury, or worse, even death.
Rabbit nests are hard to detect and may just look like a pile of dead grass, as seen in this video posted by the Ontario Wildlife Removal. But when you look closer, you’ll find several baby bunnies underneath. Due to their inconspicuous appearance, rabbit nests are at risk of being mowed down or raked over when people tend to their yards.
Thus it’s important to always check your yard or garden before doing any work on it.
In case you do come across a rabbit nest and you want to check if it’s been abandoned, place some string or yarn in a tic-tac-toe shape across it, or scatter some flour around it. Come back the next day to see if it’s been moved or disturbed. If it has, then the mother has come back, but if not, the bunnies most likely have been orphaned. It’s only in the latter case that you should move the bunnies and bring them to an animal shelter or contact your local animal control department.
Mother rabbits are smart. They only visit when it’s absolutely necessary as they don’t want to draw attention to the nests should any predators be watching. Mothers typically visit their nests during dawn or near dusk to feed and groom their babies.
If you have touched one of the baby rabbits, don’t be scared, as it’s a myth that mother rabbits will reject their baby if it has a human scent on it. Return the baby to its nest and do not disturb it any further. If you come across a bunny hopping on its own and it is about 4 to 5 inches big, it is ready to be independent and you do not need to rescue it.
Rabbits are attracted to edges or areas beside open spaces, making these suburban areas like parks, yards, and playgrounds the perfect habitat for these adorable animals. As cute as they are, these animals belong with their own in the “wild” and shouldn’t be taken or moved unless absolutely necessary. Let’s do our best to protect them and help them raise their babies undisturbed.