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Son Brought Home Cottontail

495 Views 8 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  PAcountry
My son came home from a friends house tonight with a cottontail itty bitty rabbit. His friend's cousin works at a daycare and they caught the rabbit out in the playground area. I don't believe this little one is weaned and know wild animals should not be brought in to become pets. I want to try and return the baby to the area it came from so it has a chance of finding its mama and a chance of survival, but since they caught the rabbit in the middle of a playground I'm not sure about the best way to go about this since I don't know a safe place to leave it. Any thoughts??

Also, since we have it for at least the night what can we try to do to keep it as healthy as possible? I have fresh goat milk, should we try to feed it a little out of a eye dropper or just let her be?

Thank ;you,
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If its eyes are open and its ears up (as opposed to plastered to its head) it is likely pretty much independent. I suggest just returning it to the spot where your son first caught sight of it. If there are bushes, trees etc. for cover, that is the place to put it.

I suppose you can offer it goat's milk, but it should also have water in a shallow dish and some grass, weeds like dandelion, clover or plantain etc. I don't recommend giving it vegetables from the garden etc. The bun may not be fully weaned, but cottontails munch on vegetation as soon as they can find it. This bunny may be tiny, but it may be older than you think it is. Even if not, they grow up very fast.
Sounds like a good idea. If you can't do that, releasing it in an area with lots of cover but with access to grazing (edge of a woods, treeline between fields, bushy bank alongside a stream etc.) would likely to give it a good chance.

I know your son is very young and that he likely thought he was "saving" the bunny, but if he's old enough to catch one, then he is old enough for a gentle talk about how the wild things need their own wild lives, free from interference from people. Explain to him that the bunny needs to be free to be happy. Cottontails do not do well in captivity.
Maggiej, I totally agree with wild things needing their own wild lives. My son wasn't the one who caught the rabbit. He actually felt bad for the rabbit and talked his friends into letting him have it to try and give it the wild life it deserves.
Good for your son! He obviously has an excellent understanding. And good for you in fostering it! :goodjob:
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