My neighbor called me on my drive home today. She said, "I have a story and an issue." Knowing her, this meant she needed something from me. I said go ahead - hit me. It turns out she was working outside when she heard this shrieking. She thought something got a bird, but when she looked, she saw a snake had gotten a baby bunny, but the momma bunny attacked the snake and drove it off! But the baby bunny was just lying there, out in the heat most of the day, not moving. There's a bloody spot around it's eye. So that's the story. So now what does she do? That's the issue.
I told her I could give her the number for the local wildlife rehabber. She could bring it in and if it survived the night, she could call them. Of course, all that was too much work. Basically either I take it and try to help it or the husband smashes it with a board.
So now I have a crate in my bathroom with a weaned baby bunny. I have hay in the crate and I gave it a little water with a syringe. It seems big enough to be weaned, but still pretty small. I figured if it lasts a day and starts moving around I can put it back where the bunny family is.
Don't get attached. Wild bunnies do horribly in captivity. Many rehabbers won't take them on because the stress of trying to rehab them and being handled usually kills them. Sorry, it really sucks for everybody. If it still has the white spot on its head it's usually not ready to be weaned and will need to nurse.
there is a recent thread on a successful wild bunny rehab. Search for it, I think she fed it every few hours (unlike a wild bunny mom).
The poster was congratulated because it's so rare.
I'd imagine the least it needs is water through a syringe.
i worked at a wildlife rehab. Bunnies die a lot. They stress out very easily. If he does not get the proper care, he probably won't make it. If he is still nursing, he'll miss out on that. i would return him to the wild asap.
He seems more alert and engaged this morning. Tonight I'll put him back down with his group and I guess it'll be sink or swim. I'm working from home today so I can keep with the water. I'm not sure about his eye, but I guess it'll either heal or not. I was worried about dehydration in the 90+ heat we're having.
Rehabbers will take bunnies and they don't always die. My dad raised three successfully that were already eating by stuffing a pen that was raised off the ground with alfalfa hay and giving them water but no other contact until they were ready to be released. I found one on the side of the road dazed from a car hit and took that one to the rehabber and they brought it back and released it a few weeks later. Give the bunny a chance with a rehabber. If it is compromised in it's vision it will be toast if released right away.
"We, too, will be remembered not for victories or defeats in battle or in politics, but for our contribution to the human spirit." JFK
FYI - wild mother bunnies only visit their young once a day. They leave them where they are for extended periods. If you must put him back out, place near where he was found in a shady spot. Mom will either return - mostly at night - or not. Poor little critter....hope he makes it.
"Cats aren't clean; they're covered with cat spit."
- John S Nichols (1745-1846,writer/printer)