Discolor Online

Weblog of the sweetest person you never want to piss off.


Wild Rabbits

A few minutes ago I heard a terrible screaming coming from my back yard. I whipped open the blinds to see a big gray tomcat mauling a brown cottontail rabbit in my back yard. The cat had the rabbit by the neck and the rabbit was wildly struggling to get away, and screaming. What a terrible sound.

I beat on the window with my fist and that caused the cat to drop the rabbit and jump back about a foot. Then I went tearing out in the the back yard and the cat took off for good. The poor bunny tried to jump away and was all off balance and probably injured. She (don't know why I'm calling it a she, but she seems like a she to me) was just laying, panting, against one of my planter boxes. I got within about a foot of it and it just looked at me, panting, but didn't even move.

I went in the house and put on some proper shoes, my gardening gloves and a jacket with long sleeves and grabbed the carrier we use for Bonnie. When I went back out, the rabbit was still laying by the planter, but when I put the carrier down, the rabbit tried to bound away. She's confused, or injured, or maybe just dizzy and disoriented. She bounded a short distance away, then back across the yard to try and hide behind my grill. I figured if she was able to get away from me, she didn't need my help but in the end I caught her fairly easily and was able to scoop her into the carrier. I think she's injured, but I didn't see any blood or lost hair or anything that would be obvious from the outside.

The rabbit rescues and humane society aren't open yet this early on a Saturday. I figure she can wait an hour in my carrier on the porch. If she just needs to rest to recover from the encounter, she can rest safely there. If she's injured, I'd hope to get her to someone who can care for her. If she's injured beyond help, at least I can offer her an end to suffering. My biggest fear in getting involved, though, is that my meddling will make her worse, or condemn her to death by getting the animal shelter involved. I have another hour or so before I might be able to get in touch with anyone who knows more than I do.

She's a smallish rabbit, on the young side I think. I don't know if this is the same brownish bunny that I saw bounding around the neighborhood a few months ago with the brown and white bunny that Kate nicknamed "Fudgy". "Fudgy" was clearly a house rabbit that someone had let go in the neighborhood, not a cottontail or other wild rabbit. I shudder to think what kind of scene we'd be having now if Kate had been here, or if it had been "Fudgy" nearly mauled to death in our yard.


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Anonymous Anonymous Says:

Nik, two sites you should check out for help with potentially injured wildlife:



I once, to my horror, drove over a garter snake pulling into my driveway. I took it to one of these wildlife-rehabilitation centers in my community, and dang if they didn't try everything they could to revive that lil guy. He was only a snake, not especially cuddly or endangered or even vital to the local ecosystem, and most people would have figured it wasn't worth the trouble, but I felt responsible since I had injured it myself, and these folks at the center were just as committed to helping that snake as if it had been a panda or a spotted owl or a dolphin.


Anonymous Kara Says:

I would contact your vet before the Humane Society. In Ohio, wild rabbits are considered rodents, and the H. S. here won't have anything to do with them, along with raccoons, rats, gophers, and possums. But your vet will likely have some compassion or at least be able to recommend some options.

I accidentally ran over a big paint turtle in our driveway two years ago (which was totally bizarre considering we're a good mile from any water source). I knew he wasn't salvageable, but my vet checked him out and euthanized him humanely. If he had been salvageable, they'd have fixed him up and found him a home if he couldn't function in the wild.

Most cities have an after hours emergency clinic you could call and ask what to do. They're $$$$$$ expensive to actually go to, but they might be able to give you advice over the phone for the moment.


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