Is this bunny domestic or wild??

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candi9

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I live in Pennsylvania USA and there is a bunny outside I would like to help if it is domestic. It has some similar colorings to our local wild rabbits so I'm not sure. Any advice or way to tell??20210430_200746.jpg20210430_173745.jpg20210430_173745.jpg20210430_173443.jpg20210430_173430.jpg
 

Preitler

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Hm. I'm not too familiar with cottontails apart from pictures, but to me this rabbit looks very much like a domestic. Body and head form, ears, posture all look familiar to me, and do I see a small dewlap there?

Are there more rabbits in the area, or is this the only one?
 

JBun

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Some domestic rabbits can seem very similar to wild cottontails. Cottontails are generally under 3 lbs. Does this one seem bigger than that? If it is then it probably is domestic. In the photos it looks pretty robust to be a cottontail.

Also have you tried approaching it? A wild rabbit will be very skittish and quick, and will want to dart away. A domestic one, even one that might have been abandoned a while, should act and move very differently than a cottontail. You likely should be able to approach it and get fairly close before it tries, probably slowly, hopping away.

Also look at the legs when it's hopping. If it has slim slender legs, it's probably a cottontail. And it's head, looking straight on, is it slender or does it seem to have full checks, which would indicate a likely domestic rabbit.

To me that rabbits looks too big and chunky to be a cottontail. Like Preitler, it looks more domestic to me too. But I'm no expert either.
 

Apollo’s Slave

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I agree. It does look like a domestic bunny to me - though I don’t have experience with wild bunnies either. It’s also possible that it’s a wild-domestic mix, as those are fairly common (there are three in my local rescue now). Either way, it might be a good idea to call your local rabbit rescue to check it out (or maybe just send a picture and see what they think).
 

bunny34422

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I've been seeing so many people finding dumped rabbits on the House rabbit society's facebook group, especially after Easter, so sad. Hope the rehab center or a local rescue will help capture him/her.. I recently met someone who found an abandoned domestic bun and a rescue told her to leave him there and just let nature take its course! :(
 

JBun

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I agree. It does look like a domestic bunny to me - though I don’t have experience with wild bunnies either. It’s also possible that it’s a wild-domestic mix, as those are fairly common (there are three in my local rescue now). Either way, it might be a good idea to call your local rabbit rescue to check it out (or maybe just send a picture and see what they think).
In the UK you can get wild/domestic mixes because your wild rabbits are the same species, and are where domestic rabbits originate. But here in the US our wild rabbits are a completely different species, so can't have viable offspring with one another.
 

Apollo’s Slave

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In the UK you can get wild/domestic mixes because your wild rabbits are the same species, and are where domestic rabbits originate. But here in the US our wild rabbits are a completely different species, so can't have viable offspring with one another.
Ah I didn’t know that! That’s really interesting x
 

TreasuredFriend

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@bunny34422 , Like leave your chihuahua dog outdoors where coyotes lurk and let a predator kill your backyard-sniffing pet when he goes outside. ... The amount of abandoned rabbits appearing in FB groups is disturbing, gut wrenching. I happened to skim our area Craigslist postings yesterday and left with a very sad feeling.

Rescues typically ARE overwhelmed - and reputable rescues need fosterers. However no decent rescue, imo, would simply say let nature take its course. There are all kinds of "not-my-problem" people out there. // My rescue friend recently took in 6 guinea pigs, numerous hamsters, and 2 rabbits (all unwanteds or the humans claimed they could no longer care for them) - and she has special needs' rabbits already.

August 2, 2014. House Rabbit Society manager called me to help ID this bun in a person's backyard. He/she was observed on a city owner's property with decent amount of protected places. HRS manager knew of my prior experience with cottontails and the property was a short distance away. House Rabbit Society later did an article on leucism in a newsletter.
 

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bunny34422

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@bunny34422 , Like leave your chihuahua dog outdoors where coyotes lurk and let a predator kill your backyard-sniffing pet when he goes outside. ... The amount of abandoned rabbits appearing in FB groups is disturbing, gut wrenching. I happened to skim our area Craigslist postings yesterday and left with a very sad feeling.

Rescues typically ARE overwhelmed - and reputable rescues need fosterers. However no decent rescue, imo, would simply say let nature take its course. There are all kinds of "not-my-problem" people out there. // My rescue friend recently took in 6 guinea pigs, numerous hamsters, and 2 rabbits (all unwanteds or the humans claimed they could no longer care for them) - and she has special needs' rabbits already.

August 2, 2014. House Rabbit Society manager called me to help ID this bun in a person's backyard. He/she was observed on a city owner's property with decent amount of protected places. HRS manager knew of my prior experience with cottontails and the property was a short distance away. House Rabbit Society later wrote about leucism in a newsletter.
I know, I was very surprised to hear a rescue say that! Thankfully the person caught the rabbit on their own and is taking care of him/her. My local one doesn't take owner surrenders (but will advertise on their facebook for them) but they do make every attempt to catch and foster domestic rabbits dumped outside.
 

TreasuredFriend

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@candi9 , have you got concerned humans to help you? You'll need several rabbit-caring helpers.

Hub captured 3 abandoned domestics in 2006 while the females kept reproducing. He was able to befriend the domestics with food, strong herbs like cilantro, apple pieces, and old-fashioned oats over the course of a few months. In that semi-urban area they could hide under porchs for safety. NZW mother rabbit was pulling food from garbage bags.

Multiple Helpers will be advantageous. A snow fence or exercise pens will help as you observe where mr. or ms. bunny is hiding to stay protected from aerial and land predators. - Kindly keep us posted.

My heart goes out to the agoutis! ~ Yup, plenty of humans dumping their unwanted rabbits. Comin' in pregnant as well. House Rabbit Society and rescues are continually contacted -
 

LizzyMayHarvey

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In the UK you can get wild/domestic mixes because your wild rabbits are the same species, and are where domestic rabbits originate. But here in the US our wild rabbits are a completely different species, so can't have viable offspring with one another.
We had some wild crosses in my area ages ago. After the 2011 Feb earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand the liquefaction was so bad in some areas that people had to evacuate and some pet rabbits escaped and got left behind, then after all the houses were demolished and the "Red Zone" was made (a large area of land that you aren't allowed to rebuild houses on so now it's just got trees and grass and is rabbit heaven apart from the fact that the council is trying to kill them all off) the pet rabbits bred with the wild ones and you sometimes saw half lop buns and different colours. Now, ten years later you might see a black agouti one or slightly different looking ones but it seems all the "pet" looking ones have died off. I suppose they didn't survive as well and the rabbit colours have slowly returned to the normal colour. I wish I could have rescued all the lost pet bunnies but at that time I was only 5-6 years old.❤
 
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