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BRIEF: Can you answer a few questions about rabbits?


QUESTION:
We need some advice about a baby bunny that has wandered into our fenced in yard (part chain link/part wood). He has been living here for about 5 weeks now. (He is now about the size of a squirrel.) We love having him here! Is it likely that the bunny will stay here for the winter? If so, what can we do to provide shelter, warmth, and food for him in the winter? What time of year do rabbits breed? If you cannot help us out, can you please direct us to the right place? (We live in suburban NJ.) It is difficult to find current info., in layman's terms, on bunnies which are not domesticated.

ANSWER:

Is this a wild rabbit or an escaped pet? Assuming it is wild (a cottontail?), the best thing to do is to leave it alone and enjoy watching it. It will leave as it came, if it wants to. Your fences are not much of a barrier to an expert digger. Chances are there is a larger rabbit (Mom) out there somewhere, too. One or both of them will probably stay for the Winter. If it is a domestic rabbit, then the likelihood of a Mom out there is greater, since the little ones are less able to shift for themselves. Dogs, cats, coyotes, foxes, hawks, and cars are the main threats to these little guys, and your yard may be safer from these than other places, but if it is a wild animal, then it will and should take its chances where it wants to.