Why a Wild Rabbit Must Be Kept in the Wild

When you see a wild rabbit, what do you think is the first thing that you would do? Some would want to catch it and bring it home as a new pet while some would just watch and leave it alone. Wild rabbits are elusive because they were raised in the wild where they are trained to fight for their lives. It is not very common to see them roaming around because their instinct is to hide from their predators.

When you see one, it is better to leave them alone because rabbits that are found in the wild are mostly aggressive. Rabbits instinct is to show aggression when threatened, and even the domesticated ones that you take care in your home will show this kind of behavior from time to time, so what more for those bunnies who grew up being chased by wild animals for food.

wild rabbit on the field

Photo: Robert Taylor | Flickr

Wild Rabbit Aggression

Aggression of wild rabbits is not something that you can shrug off. This is a serious matter because aggressiveness of this specie can lead to injury. Some of their actions would be scratching, spraying of pee, and biting. Remember that rabbits caught in the wild are not groomed compared to your pet rabbit that are being cared for like a baby. Wild rabbits may have longer and sharper nails and when they scratch due to aggression, it can cause cuts or wounds on your skin.

What They Might Carry

Also wild rabbits may be carriers of bacteria or viruses they have acquired from being always out in the open. The most common disease they might carry is Myxomatosis. If you have existing rabbits at home, this may not be a good idea because the wild rabbit can contaminate other rabbits. Aside from bacteria, ticks and fleas are also common in wild rabbits and it can infect other animals easily as tick and fleas can easily transfer from one host to another, not only to another rabbit, but also to your pet dog or cat.

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Fear of Humans

Wild rabbits are fearful ones. From the time of chasing and catching it and bringing it home, the stress you have put to the rabbit is too much. Even if you successfully bring a wild rabbit home as a pet, the adjustment stage from being in the wild and transitioning to a new environment is not healthy for the rabbit. We all know how rabbits handle stress and how easy they can acquire stress-related illnesses.

The domestic rabbit breeds are the ones we usually keep as pet. This is because they are more pet material than the wild ones. They are friendly to humans and they can be trained as well. Though some wild rabbits can be domesticated, only few of their species has been successfully transformed. If you are not sure about this then don’t try especially if you have children at home.

Mixed Breeding is Not a Good Idea

Do not breed your domestic rabbit with the wild ones. These are two different species with different genetic makeup and must be kept different from one another. Most likely, breeding them will not be successful but if it does, aside from weird-looking rabbits, the logic will be like breeding a horse and a donkey—you get a hinny or a mule but they won’t make babies because they cannot produce sperm or eggs. They would be sterile as what expert rabbit owners say.

Wild Rabbit Species

Some of the species of wild rabbits are the Eastern cottontails, Desert cottontails, Brush rabbit, New England cottontails, and the Jackrabbits.

An exception from caring for a wild rabbit is when you see an injured one that must have survived an attack. Bring them to the nearest veterinary clinic or rescue shelter so that their wounds can be cared for and treated until they become well again. Do not attempt to treat the injury by your own. If the injury is severe, you may apply first aid on the rabbit while transporting them to the nearest rehabilitation center but make sure that you handle them accordingly.

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It is important to bring them to a place where they can be well treated as these rabbits cannot survive injuries on their own (unlike foxes, wolves, and other wild animals). They can die when they are left in this condition. You can free them again to the wild which is their natural habitat once their injuries are treated.

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