Yep, it's that time of year in Ohio ... lots and lots ... and lots of baby wild bunnies running all over the place. Last night, my DH scared 5 from a tiny den in our front yard, of all places. The mom was nowhere to be seen, although I'd spotted her a couple of days ago in the yard next to ours. Our neighborhood has always hosted wildlife so it's fun to watch.
But you have to picture my DH, all 6'2" 260 lbs. of him, running around scooping up these little critters. What a scream! He managed to rescue 3 of the 5. We made a quiet, dark, warm place for them in an empty copypaper box, found some chunks of soft terrycloth to warm them, and left them alone in the dark to calm down.
This morning I called the Brukner Nature Center in Troy (Ohio) and asked for help. What an education! It turns out that we didn't need to rescue them. They were on their own anyway! The momma rabbit only tends her young for two weeks, and by that time they can fend for themselves. Boy, don't you Moms wish for that short a time of responsibility!?!
Anyway, once they reach 3 to 4 inches in length, their eyes are open and they can hold their ears upright, they're basically ready for life on their own. The real problem in rescuing baby rabbits is that they do not respond well to the stress of new environments, handling, etc. Apparently, most do not survive peoples' attempts to rescue them.
These little guys and gals, however, meet the requirements, so as soon as it gets a bit warmer, I 'll take them to the place we found them and release them.
They actually ate the lettuce leaves and shredded carrot I put in the box last night, so I know they can forage and keep themselves fed. And their little squeaks are way too attractive to our cat, so ....
And, to be honest, with domestic critters to clean up after, I didn't relish adding rabbit poo to the list. They sure are cute, though, and we learned a lot about them. Isn't nature something?