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Wild Babies

Baby Rabbits

Safe Handling

Baby rabbits, even more than other wild animals, are EXTREMELY high-stress.

DON’T PET THEM, DON’T FEED THEM, and keep people and pets away while you figure out how to get them help.


Baby rabbits stay alone in the nest, usually covered with dry grass and fur for the whole day, mom only returns around dusk and dawn to feed. They also have no scent to protect them; your scent will leave them vulnerable to predation or abandonment. Avoid handling and wear gloves.

At about 3 weeks old, bunnies may only be about the size of a tennis ball, but they are already independent. As long as they hop well, their eyes are open and their ears are erect, they should be left alone.

Babies found out of the nest with closed eyes, sparse or short fur, or with limited mobility, should be returned to the nest once they have been checked for injuries. Look for a nest nearby, if there are other live babies it can be replaced. If you cannot locate the nest, contact us right away.

Nests cannot be relocated, the mother will not find it and her babies will starve. If there is a risk of foot traffic or loose pets disturbing or injuring the babies, keep the nest safe during the day with an over turned and weighted laundry hamper or heavy lawn furniture that blocks access. Make sure you remove the barricade before nightfall to allow mom to feed. The babies will emerge from the nest after about two weeks, spend a few days slowly lingering around, then disperse to find territory and food.

Intact nests should be left alone, unless you find a deceased parent nearby. If you find a nest that’s been disturbed, lightly cover it with the fur patch and natural materials mom used to hide it.

If you suspect the mother is not coming back, lightly cover the nest with a cross-hatch of twigs, yarn or circle the nest with flour. Check for disturbance in about 12-18 hours; if there’s no sign of mom the babies will need rehabilitative care. Remove the babies, following our Wildlife Capture Guide and contact us  or the nearest Authorized Wildlife Custodian for next steps.

What you are witnessing may be perfectly normal behaviour. Look For:

  • Weakness or unconsciousness
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Discharge from the ears, eyes or nose
  • Large patches of missing/damaged feathers, fur or shell
  • Foreign objects stuck to or wrapped around the body
  • A deceased parent or siblings nearby
  • Bleeding
  • Open wounds
  • Fly eggs or maggots
  • Cat attack - even without visible or obvious wounds
  • Broken, injured or missing limbs – hindered movement
  • Non-stop shivering or crying

If you see any of these signs, the animal needs immediate help

As a volunteer powered charitable organization, we do not have the means or resources for pick ups or field rescues. We must rely on finders bringing animals in need of care to our facility.

Please do not bring animals to the centre without first confirming an intake time with a wildlife volunteer.
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