wild baby rabbit

Discussion in 'General Rabbit Discussion' started by emay75, Jan 21, 2018.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Jan 21, 2018 #1

    emay75

    emay75

    emay75

    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2018
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    new zealand
    hello all!

    recently, my dad found a wild baby bunny after our dog killed the mother and other baby. I estimate he is about 4 weeks old (his name is Lemon)

    we decided to bring lemon inside to avoid him being eaten by out cat or dog, and hes been in a medium sized wooden and mesh cage in my room with hay, grass, veges and water, for one night. Last night he ate all the food and i am assuming he drank from the water dish as well, and has also snacked on the grass i gave him this morning.

    I wouldn't mind keeping him, my older sister has had flemish giants for years but after the last ones died of calicivirus, she hasn't gotten any more and we miss having rabbits around. I am aware that lemon will never be domesticated, and will only ever just tolerate humans but i am wondering if it would be inhumane to keep him long term or if we should let him go?

    The thing is, theres a high chance the cat or dog will kill him once he is let go, and in new zealand (where i live) rabbits are pests, especially in the countryside, so is likely he will be shot my my dad once he is older anyway. it is also legal to keep wild rabbits as 'pets.'

    i just really don't want him to be unhappy, is he old enough to really care whether he is let free or kept? if we keep him he will end up in a much much bigger cage outside (the cage once housed two flemish giants in it with room to run around and was hand built so is definitely large enough to comfortably house an adult wild rabbit, probably around 2.5x1m) or a large cage indoors that i used to have two mice in (around 1x0.5m)

    i am very torn on the decision on whether to keep or free him, if anyone could help it would be appreciated!

    -lena
     
  2. Jan 21, 2018 #2

    JBun

    JBun

    JBun

    Jenny - Health & Wellness Mod Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2012
    Messages:
    6,448
    Likes Received:
    1,194
    Location:
    Utah, , USA
    Being that he is still pretty young, he may domesticate alright. Since he's eating ok, that means he isn't too scared or he wouldn't eat at all. It might be worth trying to see if he adapts as he gets used to being around people. If he doesn't and still seems too scared after several weeks, if it's legal you could just release him back into the wild.

    One thing I would advise is just being careful with the veggie introduction, as it's a food he won't be used to eating. I would feed as much grass and hay as he wants, then I would gradually introduce veggies starting one at a time and small amounts. I would stick with dark leafy greens and herbs for now while he is young, and ones that aren't prepackaged as those are sometimes rinsed with chlorine. I would wait on other veggies until he's older and his digestive system is more matured.
     
  3. Jan 21, 2018 #3

    emay75

    emay75

    emay75

    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2018
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    new zealand
    thank you for your advice! and i will hold back on the veggies from now on :) do you have any tips regarding taming him? can i start now or would it be best to leave him for a couple more days? at the moment i've only opened the cage for food and water, and one or two checks just to make sure he was still alive!
     
  4. Jan 21, 2018 #4

    Watermelons

    Watermelons

    Watermelons

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2006
    Messages:
    3,638
    Likes Received:
    557
    Location:
    The Un-Snowy Wet West, British Columbia, Canada
    Please put him back outside.
    Not only is it illegal to keep wild animals in most areas but its not humane.
    If he is eating on his own he is old ebough to be on his own.
    Please release this rabbit or send him on to a proper wildlife rehabber.
     
  5. Jan 21, 2018 #5

    emay75

    emay75

    emay75

    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2018
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    new zealand
    its not that i am against releasing him- i have been informed by the vets and other forums that it is probably in the rabbits best interests to now keep him
     
  6. Jan 21, 2018 #6

    Preitler

    Preitler

    Preitler

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2015
    Messages:
    228
    Likes Received:
    81
    Location:
    Austria (No Kangaroos!)
    Hm, aren't they an invasive species anyway? Don't see the point in releasing it when he has a good home.

    There may be some differences between most domesticated rabbits and wild ones, their instincts run stronger, may need more space than rabbits that were bred to be content with rather small hutches for centuries. Well, that said, rabbits are among the least changed domesticated animals there are.

    I had a half wild litter from a wild buck some years back, they were somewhat more skittish, liked gnawing and digging a lot, but not knowing their heritage they would have passed as normal domesticated rabbits without a raised eyebrow, well within the range of behaviour I've seen in other litters.

    As for taming: same as with every other rabbit, spend time with him, the more the better, like reading a book beside him on the floor, treats work wonders (careful about that, would stick to food he is used to at that age, but dandelion, narrowleaf plantain, rose or apple leaves are treats too) , be patient. Normally rabbits don't get to their new owners before 8 weeks, so he should settle in fine.



    Having him neutered asap may be a good idea, juvenile bucks can show some pretty disgusting litter habbits :)
     
  7. Jan 21, 2018 #7

    Watermelons

    Watermelons

    Watermelons

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2006
    Messages:
    3,638
    Likes Received:
    557
    Location:
    The Un-Snowy Wet West, British Columbia, Canada
    Then take him to a wildlife rehab.

    Just because you can doesn't mean you should. Let him live the life he was supposed to.
     
  8. Jan 21, 2018 #8

    Preitler

    Preitler

    Preitler

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2015
    Messages:
    228
    Likes Received:
    81
    Location:
    Austria (No Kangaroos!)


    There is no life he was supposed to live. That as an antropocentric projection. Just because we think that everything should follow the paths we are used to dosn't make it the only right, or even good thing. Sure, those of us with romantic delusions about wildlife would feel better, but that's of little interest to those directly involved.
    Why couldn't it be that being a pet bunny was what fate decided? Instead of a short life with parasites, predators and disease?

    And, wildlife rehab? Not sure the Kiwis are as happy about wild rabbits as the Aussies are, but I think chances are good that as an invasive spieces he'll just get put down - definitly ask before considering this.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2018
  9. Jan 21, 2018 #9

    Watermelons

    Watermelons

    Watermelons

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2006
    Messages:
    3,638
    Likes Received:
    557
    Location:
    The Un-Snowy Wet West, British Columbia, Canada
    What she is doing is quite illegal.
    And will not be tolerated here neither will people encouraging it.
    We have multiple articles and writeups on what should be done properly/legally/morally with found wild rabbits.
    This rabbit is more then capable of living on its own in the wild. There is zero reason to keep it and try and turn it into a pet. If the OP wants a pet rabbit perhaps they should seek out a proper rabbit rescue and not bring home wild caught animals.
     
    woahlookitsme likes this.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page