Patient #65,000

April 20, 2014
Rescue Location
Page County, Virginia
Cause of Admission/Condition
Former Patient
Patient photo

Last Updated Jump to patient updates

Patient #14-0343 was admitted on April 20 – the 65,000th patient admitted to the Wildlife Center since our founding in 1982!

It’s fitting that the landmark patient was admitted on Easter Sunday – it was an Eastern Cottontail. The baby rabbit was found in a backyard in Page County, Virginia. Homeowners found the young rabbit with a dead mother and siblings, which were attacked by a dog. Upon admission to the Wildlife Center, the rabbit was examined and was found to be healthy.

The rehabilitation staff will tube-feed the rabbit a special formula twice a day, and will weigh the rabbit regularly to monitor its health. Rabbits are one of the most numerous species admitted to the Wildlife Center each year; in 2013, the Center admitted 403 cottontail rabbits.

To help protect Eastern Cottontails, particularly bunnies still in the nest:

  • Please check your lawn for rabbit nests before mowing, particularly for the first mowing in spring. A cottontail nest is a shallow depression in the ground – these rabbits do not burrow. Establish a “no-mow” buffer zone around the nest – about 10 feet in diameter.
  • Keep cats indoors, and keep dogs on leashes.
  • Mother rabbits generally feed their young only at dusk and dawn; they usually will not be in the nest during the day. If you suspect that a nest has been abandoned, sprinkle the area with flour or cross two twigs over the nest, and check back in 24 hours. If there is no sign of activity at the nest, the bunnies should be taken to a permitted wildlife rehabilitator.

Day in and day out, the Wildlife Center relies on the support of individuals for its life-saving work. Please help!

Patient Updates

Eastern Cottontail #14-0343 appeared to be doing well in the days after its admission. The rehabilitation staff tube-fed the rabbit twice a day, and weighed the rabbit often to adjust the amount of formula required.

On April 27, the rehabilitation staff found the rabbit deceased in its incubator enclosure. While the staff were not able to find any injuries upon the rabbit’s admission, there is a chance the rabbit sustained internal injuries from the dog attack. Rabbits are generally considered high-stress animals, and can be challenging patients.