Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Operation Baby Bunny

After a day spent recovering from a spectacular case of food poisoning the night before, I went out for a couple of hours to try and perk up - an entire day in bed makes me feel even worse when I've been sick. So when I come home, I'm stopped in my tracks by the sight of a ball of fur stuffed in the corner where the doorframe and wall meet. Mouse? Baby Rabbit? Not sure which, nor whether or not it was even alive.

I went inside, got a yardstick, and went back out prepared to try and wedge it out. It was soft and yet would not budge; I managed to see a little ear - it was a bunny. Went back inside, got a pair of old garden gloves on, prayed for strength, and went out to try and pull him out. I assumed he'd just gotten stuck while playing... rabbits are often grazing in the yard behind my apartment when I come home at night. This year, they've been joined by a beaver.

So I went and tried to scoop him out, which he resisted and started crying. But he did shift somewhat so his head was now visible. His little eye closed and he took a mini-nap. I took a breather, and looked back out towards the yard, and there was mother rabbit in rather close proximity (they usually run off when I get too close). So I darted inside, hoping that mommy would go fetch baby and take him to safety.

I went back outside in a few minutes, and mommy was nibbling grass down the hill! Appalling maternal instincts. (But, I did read somewhere that rabbits let their young go off on their own and don't keep them in the nest once they're mobile.)

So I decided that I knew what was best for this bunny (soon to be proved wrong), and managed to catch a leg and pull him out, squealing pitifully and squirming like crazy. I managed to get him out to the yard and put him down (mommy had gone to hide in the woods) and the baby looked like he was going to make a run back towards his hidey-hole, but I shooed him down the hill and he made it into the thicket at the bottom... at which point a big-ass bird of prey (I suspect raven; very smooth and black) swooped to a tree overhead. I started clapping and yelling and he flew back off.

But that finally explained why the bunny was hiding under my apartment; he'd run to cover to escape becoming dinner! I looked back down the hill, and noticed a loose wad of fluff and dead grass; when I went closer, I could see that it was rabbit fur. The burrow had obviously been in the incline of the hill, and I found it a yard away, in a drainage pipe.

So much conjecture... had the rabbits simply grown up and scampered out and taken their nest with them? Or that that damn bird been pulling out the nest to find some tender baby rabbits? I didn't see any others. I can only hope that baby and mommy found each other in the thicket.


Mike Howell said...

Wow, fancy new header graphic and animal rescue story all at once.

I commend your choice of putting the bunny in the brush rather than taking inside and holding it captive.

Susania said...

Like I'm equipped to take care of a rabbit?! Despite my absolute fascination with them (kawaiiiiiii!), I know better than to try and keep one.