What to do if you find…

Baby Rabbits

Orphan Alert: Baby rabbits are only fed a few times a day, and the mother does not stay with her babies between feedings. It is likely you will not see a mother bunny anywhere near her nest, but this does not mean she has abandoned her babies.

1. Always wear gloves when handling baby rabbits.

2. First, establish that the baby rabbit(s) need to be rescued. Baby rabbits are notoriously over-rescued, so you want to be sure that they are in need of rescue before proceeding.

Are the babies tucked into the nest and quiet? If so, gently cover their nest and leave the area. You can put an “X” made of twigs over the nest if you want to be sure that she is returning. When the mother feels safe enough to return, she will not mind your smell if you have touched the babies.

Baby rabbits are very sensitive to stress, so try to be as quiet as possible. Please no petting the babies! 

Are the babies out of the nest and vocalizing or have one or more babies been injured or attacked by a cat or dog? If so, place them into a warm box as quickly as possible and bring them to Native Animal Rescue following the directions below.

Jackrabbit babies scatter from their nest a few days after birth. They are left by their mother in a small depression of dirt, often in places we would not expect them to be.

  • Is the baby healthy-looking and quiet? If so, please leave it be!
  • If the baby has obvious injuries or is vocalizing, please place it into a box and bring it to Native Animal Rescue.

3. Cats have a bacteria to which baby rabbits are especially susceptible. If a baby has been in a cat’s mouth, it will likely need care if it is to survive. Please bring any baby rabbit that has had contact with a cat to Native Animal Rescue.

4. If you are uncomfortable handling the baby rabbit, call Native Animal Rescue at 831-462-0726.

Injured Adult Rabbits

If you find an adult rabbit that has been injured,

  1. Remember to stay very quiet as adult rabbits are very sensitive to stress.
  2. You may wear gloves as adult rabbits can scratch.
  3. You can also place a towel over the rabbit and scoop it up. 
  4. Place the rabbit into a warm box and bring it to Native Animal Rescue.
  5. If you have any questions about whether or not to rescue baby or adult rabbits, please call Native Animal Rescue BEFORE rescuing at (831) 462-0726. You can reach our rabbit specialist at (831) 332-2368 with any questions you may have about our Native Rabbits. 

Native Animal Rescue    1855 17th Ave., Santa Cruz, CA 95062

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Native Animal Rescue        1855 17th Ave., Santa Cruz, CA 95062