What To Do If You Find Baby Bunnies In Your Yard
I guess it's that time of the year when all of the "I found some abandoned bunny rabbits in my yard" posts start popping up on social media. I can't remember which Lawton page I was on, but I saw one of them today. It might even be the earliest I've ever seen one posted. People often want to know what they can do to help these cute little balls of fur, and the answer is nothing. Doing nothing is the best thing you can do for them. I'll explain.
It's not uncommon to be mowing or raking your lawn only to discover a little hole with a couple of baby buns in it. They are adorable, and our instinct is to think "Where is the parent? Why are they alone?" It all goes back to how nature works. Since the dawn of time, I'm sure we humans have had it pretty good. Born completely helpless, surrounded by a guardian day and night. Normal for us, extremely rare in the wild. Rabbits share the type of upbringing that most prey animals have. Take the deer for instance. A fawn spends most of its day alone, laying completely still awaiting the return of the mother deer to feed it after she's had her own fill of food. After all, if the mother starves, the offspring starves. Rabbits are exactly the same. It would be more weird to find a rabbit den with the mother in it.
As a general trait of humans, our own little heart-strings get pulled seeing something so cute and defenseless, so we want to help. The trouble is, helping baby rabbits harms baby rabbits. If your kid finds a den and picks one up to show you, chill out. The myth that you shouldn't handle a baby rabbit because the mother rabbit will abandon it due to your grotesque human smell is just that... A myth. Just put the baby bunny back wherever it was found and let nature take care of itself. Also, that doesn't mean you have free reign to pick up and handle these little furballs either. Be a good steward of the nature around you, it's best they be left alone. Odds are the den was covered with a plug of grass, do the same, otherwise you're just feeding the predators in your neighborhood... cats, dogs, birds, snakes, etc...
Is it cruel? No. Nature has survived millennia without you, it will survive millennia after you. The best thing you can do for nature is to not impede with how it takes place beyond yourself. Even if you've hit the little tyke with the lawnmower, it's best to let nature take its course. It seems cold, and that's good. It means you're a caring person... but also, nature is brutal, leave it be.