It’s spring now! This is the time of year for animals to have babies. Wildlife in our area is beginning to build nests and have kids. This is more likely to happen to you since you’re probably staying home more than normal.
When it’s a baby rabbit, it can be very scary and confusing to find a nest or a young animal by itself. We’re going to talk about these animals and what to do if you come across a baby rabbit.
The Eastern Cottontail is the type of rabbit you’ll see in Northwest Indiana. They have their young in early spring to summer. They hide their babies in nests that look like other things to keep them safe.Rabbit nests are just small holes in the ground that are lined with dried grass, the mother rabbit’s fur, and dead leaves.
Due to the small size of the nest, the mother will only feed her kids for a short time each night. Predators could find the nest if the bird stayed close to it all the time. Rabbits really care about their young, so they watch the nest from afar. Babies rabbits are dark grayish-pink, blind, and very small. But they grow up really fast. In fact, they open their eyes after only 10 days. At three weeks old, they look like little adults and are ready to leave the nest. It’s okay to see a baby rabbit hopping around outside the nest.
What if I find a nest of rabbits?
It can be hard to see rabbit nests because they are very well hidden, especially when you are mowing! Before you get your lawn mower, look around your yard for nests. That way, you won’t strike one by chance. As a general rule, if you find a nest, don’t touch it.
It can be marked by putting sticks straight up around it or drawing a circle around it with flour. No matter what you choose, make sure the mother can still see and get to it. After three weeks, rabbit babies leave the nest, so don’t mow the grass for a few weeks. Also, make sure kids, dogs, and cats stay away from the nest.
Putting the baby back in or near the nest is important if you touched it. Please wear gloves because even babies can bite. There is no truth to the story that mother bunnies will leave their babies if they smell like people. Rabbits love their babies and only want them back.
Also, don’t keep the babies, even though they are cute. People are not allowed to keep or raise wild rabbits, and there’s a good reason for that. Wild rabbits don’t do well when they are kept as pets. They should only be cared for by their mother or by a licenced rescue centre that knows how to take care of these animals.
What if one of the bunny babies gets hurt?
Please call a wildlife rescue centre right away if the baby rabbit is clearly hurt, bleeding, or lying on its side all the time. Bring the baby to a therapy centre right away if you think it has been around a cat or dog. It will need medical care. First, call the centre to find out how to bring it in.
What should I do?
Call the wildlife rescue centre in your area! Our nearby wildlife rehab centre is Humane Indiana Wildlife in Valparaiso, and yes, they are open during COVID-19. This post is meant to help you learn, not to be a guide. Call your local wildlife rehab centre right away if you have any questions about your situation with an animal. They know a lot about it and can help you.
Good to know more about baby cottontails. If you ever find a baby rabbit, you’ll know what to do and who to call.