April 24, 2007
For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Angela Speed
Phone: (414) 431-6104
Watch Out for Baby Bunnies!
Milwaukee, WI — Recent warm weather has inspired many people to break out the garden tools and dust off the lawnmower. Unfortunately, the Wisconsin Humane Society’s Wildlife Rehabilitation Center has been flooded with phone calls regarding baby bunnies found in tulip beds, discovered by curious canines, or seemingly abandoned. The Wildlife Rehabilitation Center encourages people to protect baby animals this week in celebration of National Wildlife Week, April 21-29, by following these tips:
• Before you start, walk through any areas you plan to mow, rake, rototil or plant and look for nests that could be vulnerable. If you find a nest, mark it and work around it. Keep children and pets away from the areas until the babies eventually move.
• If you accidentally uncover a nest, carefully check for wounds or bleeding. If the bunnies are not hurt, leave them in the nest and cover them up. If you find injured babies, they should be transported to a local licensed wildlife rehabilitator in a covered box lined with paper towel and ventilated with small holes.
• If your child brings home a young Cottontail, call a wildlife rehabilitator immediately. If you live in Milwaukee County, call us at (414) 431-6204. Cottontails have very special dietary needs and improper feeding will cause serious illness or death. If the rabbit's eyes are closed, she must be placed back into the nest. The mother will not reject her babies simply because they have been touched.
• If you suspect a nest has been abandoned, do not touch the babies. Instead, place twigs or pieces of string criss-crossed in a grid pattern over the nest in the evening. Check the nest first thing in the morning. If the twigs have been disturbed, the mother is caring for the babies at night. She avoids the nest during the day to discourage predators from finding her babies. If the twig grid has not been disturbed, the babies may be orphaned. Do not try to feed or handle the babies until you speak to your local licensed wildlife rehabilitator.
• If you find a young rabbit who appears weak, injured or ill, she may need to go to your local wildlife rehabilitator. If the rabbit was found in Milwaukee County, call (414) 431-6204 for information.
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Photo Op Advisory: We currently have many baby bunnies in our nursery available for
filming. To schedule a film interview or photos, call Angela Speed at 431-6104.