Wild baby bunny with tumor living in my yard

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by amygatlin, Jul 22, 2004.

  1. amygatlin

    amygatlin New Member

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    Jul 22, 2004
    I have a young cottontail living in my yard that has a growth on the top of hind leg towards his back...It seems to be spreading on his back. I would like to catch him and take him to a vet, but don't want to scare him to death and kill him. I am assuming that the bigger bunny that hangs around is his mom. I don't want the mom to reject him if we touch him. Let me know how to catch him safety!!!!
     
  2. Michael Leferink

    Michael Leferink Well-Known Member

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    Jul 12, 2003
    Location:
    Louisiana
    amygatlin,

    Please don't be angry with me. Understand that I am not trying to be hurtful.

    Unless it is only a few weeks old, a wild rabbit will often break it's own back when handled.

    In most states, it is illegal to trap/capture a wild animal without a permit. Even if it is to give aid to a sick or wounded animal. The idea is to let nature take it's course. There are other animals that eat the animals that have died naturally. Another reason is because you could become sick handling that animal and pass on whatever it has to other people or animals.

    From your description, I would guess it has cancer or a parasite infestation. Even if it was legal and even if you took it to a Vet., it probably would not survive. Probably the most humane and safest thing, would be to shoot or have someone shoot it. Handle the body with a shovel or some other tool and burn or bury the body very deep. Then sanitize the tool.

    I'm sorry. I know it's hard to see an animal that is sick or hurt and know there is nothing that can reasonably be done to save it. :(

    Best wishes,

    MikeL
     

  3. amygatlin

    amygatlin New Member

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    Jul 22, 2004
    I completely understand. I was worried about harming it more than helping it. I just can't handle seeing an animal that is in pain or sick. I guess I will have my husband find out if it is ok to shoot it within the city limits or call animal control. We get attached to animals so easily & this is, of course, not what I wanted to hear. He seems to get around without trouble. Should I let him just run his course? I would like to have a little refuge in the backyard for him and his friends but I assume they prefer the natural habit to a man made one. They eat lots of bird seed and my flowers, is ther any specific thing I can plant to keep them happy? Thanks for your honesty!
     
  4. Michael Leferink

    Michael Leferink Well-Known Member

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    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2003
    Location:
    Louisiana
    amygatlin,

    Being in the city limits does limit what you can do, even more. Animal control might agree to come out and live trap it or they might (if it's legal) loan you a live trap and you can bring it to them after it's been caught. They might put it down or they might release it out of town, depending on what they find is wrong with it. Try not to feel too bad. The average life expectancy for wild cottontails is only 4 months. If they won't come out, I'd probably let it run it's course. Who knows, it might be a benign tumor and the rabbit may turn out fine.

    The problem with creating habitat for the rabbits is that they may become overpopulated, thus causing more problems. I used to do it when we lived farther out of town, but I controlled their population by hunting. I placed rolled up 4" x 4" wire around the property and then let the grass and brush grow up around and through it. This gave them a place to escape predators and have their young. As a side benifit, this also increased our quail population. They had all the natural food they needed, but I would scatter rabbit pellets for them. Rabbits are more browsers than grazers. They like to chew woody vegetation like willow or apple branches, black berry vines and other briar type plants. They will eat an assortment of grasses and leaves, but mostly brush. Similar to goats and deer. The list of dangerous plants for rabbits is too long for me to remember, so I just never feed anything but pellets and occasionally hay to our domestic rabbits. I know that iceburg lettuce and members of the cabbage family can kill domestic rabbits. Wild rabbits might occasionally die from eating something they shouldn't, but I think it's probably rare. They should know what they can and can not eat.

    Wish I could help more.

    Good luck,

    MikeL