Rehabilitation animal of the month: Eastern cottontail rabbit

Rehabilitation animal of the month: Eastern cottontail rabbit

By Freddy Moyano

BROWN COUNTY – It’s typical to see infant wild animals exterior through spring, and as the very small offspring established out on their possess, from time to time risk moves in.

Which is the story with this month’s Rehabilitation Animal of the Month, a seven-day-old eastern cottontail rabbit – who was brought to the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary after getting some cuts as a end result of a crow attack.

Curator Lori Bankson explained jap cottontail rabbits are a massive photograph of the active spring seasons at the sanctuary.

“This is the most common mammal we get,” Bankson claimed. “We get about 2,500 mammals every yr and the vast majority are cottontails. We’ve been acquiring them (consistently) now for a month in this article at the Wildlife Sanctuary.” 

She mentioned a most important explanation why they get them at an age as younger as this month’s animal is because they are introduced by their mom at just two weeks old to fend for on their own.

“This one was attacked by a crow,” Bankson mentioned. “(A family members) observed it and, the good thing is, introduced it to us. It was just some cuts that we’ve been able to treat, supplying him some thing to try to eat. He has been executing fairly well.”

Japanese cottontail rabbit

Presenting an clear little bruise under its chin, this pint-sized kit has been at the sanctuary for about two months.

“When people today bring them in, not everybody appreciates particularly what they are,” Bankson said, referring to their darkish coloring, additional so resembling a vole.

She stated they nest through snow, rain, heat and all kinds of Wisconsin weather conditions.

Bankson mentioned the infants remain in their shallow, floor-leveled nest for just 10 to 14 times. “When the climate will get pleasant, people today go into their yards and effortlessly uncover them,” she reported.

Bankson said this tiny rabbit has been paired with a different rabbit, who is about five days older that was brought to the sanctuary immediately after remaining identified by dog in a area yard.

Bankson stated these rabbits get a quite unique system designed for cottontails.

“What we do is (tube-feed) chewed (hay) into their stomachs,” she mentioned, noting the feeding system results in being pretty stress filled at their young age. “People believe they can have cat formulation or puppy system, but they really don’t do perfectly with that.”

Bankson said they will get food tubed into their abdomen two times a working day for about two months.

She explained these kits will be capable to feed on greens and hay on their have before long.

“If (toddler rabbits are) discovered, it’s good for individuals to deliver them to us so we can specifically feed them, rehab them and release them back again into the wild,” Bankson stated.

Cottontail rabbits begin breeding at a extremely young age, as young as two or 3 months previous.

Their gestation period is between 25 and 28 days. 

These rabbits can have in between a single and 7 litters each yr, averaging a few or four litters per year, each and every litter containing in between a person and 12 infants, with the regular one particular consisting of five.

Adopt a kit

Bankson mentioned they ideally maintain cottontail kits in groups of two to 8 for each cage.

She said a kit’s time in the sanctuary’s Observation Building usually lasts a several times, depending on how outdated they ended up on arrival, but are generally releasable involving 15 and 21 times old.

“We have people today who indicator up and give us permission to launch rabbits in their yards,” Bankson reported.

All those intrigued in undertaking this can locate the release sort at

“We have a big system (committed to lawn adoption), which is very successful,” Bankson claimed.


Bankson mentioned February’s animal, the woman barred owl who was most likely strike by a car or truck, is carrying out properly and is established for a likely launch in early June.

She said the snowy owl, highlighted in March, is beginning to fly and is estimated to be released in July or August.

“We check out for weather conditions and migration patterns,” Bankson reported. “We get 6 months from the Section of All-natural Means, so technically she can remain right here until August. We don’t want to hurry the launch.”

The Rehabilitation Animal of the Month month to month sequence is a partnership in between the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary (BBWS) and focused on highlighting the many animals of the sanctuary and its attempts to rehabilitate its fluffy patients and release them back into the wild.