Wednesday, May 12, 2010
For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Angela Speed
(414) 431-6104 firstname.lastname@example.org
Watch Out for Baby Bunnies!
Milwaukee, WI — Ready to break out the garden tools and dust off the lawnmower? Don’t forget about the baby bunnies before you start your weekend projects. The Wisconsin Humane Society’s Wildlife Rehabilitation Center has been receiving many phone calls regarding baby bunny nests found in backyards and flower beds, uncovered by curious canines, or seemingly abandoned (which is often not the case!).
The Wildlife Rehabilitation Center encourages people to protect baby animals by following these tips:
• Before you start, walk through any areas you plan to mow, rake, rototill or plant and look for nests that could be vulnerable. A Cottontail nest is just a shallow scrape in the soil, lined with fur and covered with dried grasses. If you find a nest, mark it and work around it. Keep children and pets away from the area until the babies eventually move, usually when they are about 4 weeks old.
• If you accidentally uncover a nest, put on disposable gloves and carefully check the baby bunnies for wounds or bleeding. If the bunnies are not hurt, leave them in the nest and cover them up, as you found them. If you find injured babies, they should be transported to a local licensed wildlife rehabilitator, like WHS, in a covered box lined with paper towel and ventilated with small holes. Wash your hands with soap and water after handling the bunnies.
• 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 that 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 (414) 431-6104.