Apr 8, 2010

Newborn Rabbits

David called me on Saturday afternoon to tell me not to get my hopes up, but that he had offered my services of mothering some newborn baby rabbits, and to be perfectly honest my heart absolutely sank. He was visiting with a friend when the friend's very large and very hyper dog brought them an offering of a nearly dead baby rabbit, so young its eyes were still closed and only a few inches in length. The friend thought he knew where the den might be and so, after humanely putting down the poor suffering baby, he and David went to investigate with the dog eagerly leading the way. They found the nest with four still-living babies, one very dead one and the mother rabbit nowhere to be seen. After putting the dog in the house they erected a small fence around the den that would allow the mama rabbit to get back in to her babies, but keep the dog securely out. Not being sure whether the mother would reject the remaining babies as they smelled of both dog and humans, the friend said he would keep an eye on things and if the mother never returned would give us a call to come collect them.

Mercifully, no one called us, though I spent several days while waiting in a somewhat dread-filled fog. David seemed rather disappointed that we weren't going to be mothering the babies, but I was more than thrilled. After all, I've lived through one episode of caring for abandoned baby wildlife and it was anything but fun (see Noodles and Melvin, January 10, 2007). And being allergic to rabbits, I saw myself in playtex living gloves up to my armpits, breaking out in an itchy raw rash anyways and wheezing endlessly for the several weeks it would take of hand-feeding the rabbits until they were big enough to venture out into the wild on their own.

And though I would have taken them and cared for them regardless of my personal feelings, apparently this was another Easter miracle as it's now been six days and there are still no baby rabbits in my reluctant care. Hallelujah!

Photo courtesy of CoryGurman on flickr.


Draco and his Mom said...

Last spring a rabbit made a nest in our garden "enriched soil" pile. We saw her digging a hole in the pile and fussing and then she covered it up. Not knowing how rabbits make their nest, we just thought we had a weird digging rabbit. We went online and found out rabbits bury their babies in a den and then go back to tend them. We were pretty amazed. Sadly a raccoon found the nest and killed them. The mother returned a few times, but gave up after finding the den destroyed. We were sad but glad that Draco was not the killer.

Victoria said...

I'm glad it wasn't Draco too- tho I think even a small newborn rabbit could give some smaller chis a run for their money. I know my boys would be nuts if the rabbits had come to our house. They can't control themselves when Mrs. Nesbitt comes out of Griffin's room for a visit. The noise is DEAFENING! :} lol

Blog Widget by LinkWithin