It’s hard to believe that winter is almost over and spring is about ready to take place. It seems as if everybody is in the mood for some warmer weather and all of the beauty that spring has to offer. It just seems as if everything comes to life during that time of the year. In fact, it is not only true of flowers and trees, it is even true of baby animals!
More than likely, you agree with most people that animals are cute but they are especially adorable when they are babies. That being said, most people tend to ignore any advice that they get when it comes to handling those little ones. They try to interact with them, even when they are wild animals and it can cause problems that are rather severe.
Rescues tend to get a lot of animals during the springtime of the year. People often find ‘abandoned’ wild animals, such as baby birds and bunnies and turn them over to the shelters.
It is important for you to understand that those animals are not always abandoned. Before you take them to the rehab, you need to make sure that you are not taking them away from their mother. Here’s what to do if you find a nest of baby bunnies, and it might be surprising to you.
“IT’S BUNNY SEASON!! REMINDER AS SPRING APPROACHES,” Barb J Melton shared on Facebook on March 16. “Bunnies are one of the most frequently ‘kidnapped’ mammal species.”
“Mothers dig a very shallow nest in the ground that is easily uncovered when mowing or raking the yard. If you find a rabbit nest — leave it alone!! Mother rabbits only return to the nest two or three times a day, usually before dawn and right after dusk.”
There are times when they are legitimately abandoned but there’s a way to tell the difference.
“To determine if they are orphaned, either place a string across the nest in a tic-tac-toe shape or circle the nest with flour. Check the nest the next day. If the string or flour is disturbed, the mother has returned. If not, take the bunnies to a rehabilitator.”
“A bunny that is bright eyed and 4-5 inches long is fully independent and does NOT need to be rescued! If you find a bunny that does need to be rescued, put it in a dark, quiet location. Bunnies are a prey species and while they may look calm, they are actually very, very scared!”
Many people who have tried to help abandoned kittens find that they are so terrified of extra handling, they die of heart failure.
“We have been getting LOTS of calls about wild baby bunnies lately,” the Animal Rescue League of Iowa confirmed. They want people to know that the nest should be left alone and they should use the tic-tac-toe yarn method to make sure that they are not really abandoned.
“THINGS TO REMEMBER: If you have found an orphaned or injured baby rabbit and must touch it before help arrives, be sure to wear gloves,” they added. “Place it in a secure, ventilated container and keep it in a warm, dark, quiet place until an animal control officer or wildlife rehabilitator can assist.”
“Also, do not feed the baby rabbit. Giving it the wrong foods (like milk or lettuce) can kill it. Wait for experienced help to come.”