Indiana DNR: Nature Knows Best Don’t Mess With Baby Bunnies
It's springtime in the Tri-State which means the weather is warming up, and our furry friends are starting to come out of their winter hiding spots. It also means it's baby season.
Indiana Department of Natural Resources: Nature Knows Best
Each year well-meaning people end up causing issues for rabbits when they try to "help" baby bunnies, that don't necessarily need to be helped. Here's what the Indiana DNR says about assisting nature on Facebook:
NATURE KNOWS BEST. Most people have the best of intentions for caring for wildlife; however, a young animal’s best chance of survival is being in the wild with its mother. Unnecessarily assisting wildlife often does more harm than good. In truth, most animals do NOT need help and RARELY abandon their young. If an animal is not injured, it can be returned to its nest or den - HUMAN SCENT DOES NOT discourage a mother from returning. After returning the animal, leave the area and do not hover. Wildlife parents will not return if they sense you are in the area. For more information: on.IN.gov/keepwildlifewild
What if You Find Baby Bunnies in Your Yard?
When you find tiny baby bunnies it's easy to think they may need help, but most of the time they're doing just fine. The mom only visits the nest twice a day typically to feed the babies and then is away from the nest the rest of the time. According to Rabbit.org if you notice a nest has been disturbed (uncovered by say your dog or something) keep your dog away from the nest, and recover it.
Now, what if your dog or cat has destroyed a rabbit nest, but the babies are still okay? Rabbit.org recommends you reconstruct the nest. Contrary to popular belief, the mom will still tend to the babies even if they have a human scent on them.
so to make a long story short, if you see baby rabbits, it's typically best not to disturb them. Mama rabbit will not stay near the nest as to not attract prey to it. If you'd like to read more information on what to do if you find baby bunnies, Rabbit.org is a really great resource.