Escaped Rabbit: A (Long) Rant

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che

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So, Codi had her spay recently. She was confined afterwards so that she couldn't move around too much. This past Sunday we set up her pen again, but we're still not letting her free roam.

Of course, she had other ideas. She's been biting at the pen like a mad rabbit over the past few days, probably tired of being cooped up. It's been getting frustrating for me, the amount of noise she's been making.

Anyway, I was lying in bed at 5am and she's making a lot of noise again, sounding like she's running around and binkying. I started to think it sounded like she had a bit TOO much space, so I was weighing up whether to move and check on her, and then I heard the sound of an empty plastic bottle that she plays with.

Now, usually I take this bottle out of her pen at night because she loves to throw it around and it makes loads of noise, so when I heard that I instantly wondered if she WAS out of her cage and had managed to get hold of it.

I went in and instantly saw that the plastic bottle was INSIDE her sealed pen, so I figured I must have left it in by accident and she'd been playing with it. I was just about to leave the room and go back to bed, when I realised she was out of her pen.

I have NO idea how she got out (the pen is quite high and I really don't think she can jump that high - she seems terrified of jumping - but it's a possibility). I wonder if she managed to lift it up and crawl under, but again I don't see how. The idea that she lifted her pen seems MORE likely than the idea that she jumped over it, but I still can't believe that happened. It's heavy and surely would have dropped on her as she was making her way through.

I also have no idea how I heard her playing with the bottle when she was out and it was in. It's not like she'd only just that second escaped because when I looked around she'd worked her way through some paper by my printer and had bitten a wire through in about six different places so that it was strewn across the floor (with the plug still in the wall).

Cue tears and a panic attack from me, thinking that she could have killed herself. I had a lot of other cables around, all plugged in, and various electrical devices switched on but it looks like she hasn't touched the rest of them.

Husband managed to get her back in her pen immediately, and she's since been hopping quietly around and relaxing, playing innocent. Gave me such a fright though!

Scared to leave her alone tonight, but not sure what we can do to stop it from happening again.
 

PaGal

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Since I have two females and a male that are intact I put up an X pen around the girls cage so they cannot get to each other and I have heard buns can mate through a cage. The girls are out while the male is put up and vice versa. The X pen is 46" high so the tallest they make and long. It is heavy.

When I first put it up I did catch Shirley in the act of pushing her way out. I would never have expected them to be able to push their way out but she did. What I have done to prevent this is to attach each end of the X pen to something more solidly placed so they can't push it.

One end is attached to their cage which is an extra large dog cage. I have it set up a certain way so it also keeps my male from being able to get close to the cage. The other end is attached to a baby gate in my bedroom door way. To attach it I use two shower curtain hooks on each end.

I also make sure when I attach with the shower curtain hooks that the hooks are not too loose leaving a gap that they could then squeeze out. They have a cardboard box with a tiny (compared to them) hole chewed in it and I have watched them easily squeeze through that hole.
 

PaGal

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If you think she climbed or jumped over it then you could place something on the top of it to prevent that such as cardboard or even a sheet. If she is climbing then securing whatever you placed on the top could be necessary.

I could post some pics for you if that would help you understand how I attach the X pen I have.
 

Kittiebot

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OMG how horrible! I had that same thing happen with my guy. I was just drifting off to sleep when I saw something moving by my side of the bed. Turns out he had manuvered himself over the side of the second story of his condo and over the door. Just about gave me a heart attack, but it was very cute that he came straight to me looking for cuddles!

I would also reccomend either getting a taller pen, like a tall dog pen, or put something over the top of the pen, like a sheet, cardboard, netting, etc.
 
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We have had 4 that can climb. They will jump up on the side of the pen and right up it like a big furry spider--Ted used to get over 48 inches and I knew he wasn't jumping, so I watched all of them at various times and caught them in the act--a 2 pound Netherland all the way to a 12 pound lop so it's not just one breed. Also, have heard of some lifting up the pen and getting out under the side. You can't blame a bunny for being a bunny, you just have to make adjustments. Always laugh when I hear of somone's bunny proofing being circumvented--it's a process and not an absolute.
 

che

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Thanks for your replies, everyone.

I wasn't able to relax last night so I locked her away in her little cage, just for the night, whilst I tried to think what to do.

We have a garden pen with a roof, as well, so we've traded her old pen for this. The hope is that the weight of the roof will weigh it down, and stop her from crawling underneath. There's also definitely no way that she can jump over it.

It's smaller, which worries me a bit. Hopefully I'm giving her enough room! But by this weekend she should be roaming free again anyway, so I'm hoping that being locked in this at other times won't be too much of a problem.

She hasn't tried to bite the bars or anything, yet, but she might just be getting used to the new surroundings.

This morning when I let her out of her smaller cage she went straight to a particular corner of her pen and would not stop chewing it, to the point that I saw it lift up and lock in place with a space big enough to crawl through, so I think that's what happened. She looked so frustrated and desperate to get out. She's always been so calm, but when my husband picked up her plastic bottle (used as a toy that she throws around to get treats out of), and waved it over the other side of the cage to distract her, she turned and ran at him and bit him.

He said it wasn't too hard - it just shocked him. She's never been aggressive so I don't know if she's just feeling really frustrated about being locked away whilst she recovers from her operation or if something else is at play. When she's not trying desperately to escape, she seems fine!

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