Saturday, March 12, 2011

Mother Nature Knows Best

Kids love to tell stories about experiences they've had with animals, and I hear a ton of those during programs I do as a humane educator.

One common story is of finding a nest of baby bunnies. Often times the kids will tell me that the mother rabbit isn't caring for her offspring.

Spring is getting closer, and with spring comes an increase in the number of calls HAWS gets from people who have interactions with wild animals -- frequently these calls involve orphaned or abandoned baby animals. We also get an upswing in the number of wild animals brought in by caring individuals who only want to do the right thing.

What many people don't realize is that not all animals care for their babies 24/7. Rabbits will make a nest for their babies and leave them alone for most of the day -- returning only to feed at dawn and at dusk. This makes good evolutionary sense -- an adult rabbit hanging around a nest all day would tip off predators as to where an easy lunch could be found; baby rabbits are safer by themselves when not feeding.

Our advice to anyone coming upon a nest of baby rabbits is to leave them alone - mom most likely is going to come back. And while a wildlife rehabilitator can attempt to bottle feed rabbits -- the truth is that they don't have a good survival rate being raised by humans. Mother Nature really does know best.

1 comment:

Lagomorph said...

Thumbs up!