When I was out working on my perennial bed in the backyard today, my dogs found a rabbit den with baby bunnies under my hibiscus bush. Before I realized what had happened, both dogs had baby bunnies in their mouths. I managed to make one of my dogs release his bunny, but my other dog killed hers.
Baby Bunny Killer
I confined both dogs inside the house. I found the bunny that I made my other dog release hiding along my fence. The other babies escaped, so I assumed that the bunny was injured.
Then I went to a business owner, Jan, whose shop is across the street. She's an earth mother type of person who would likely know what to do. I was in luck. She had some experience with wildlife rehabilitation and said that she would take care of it. She lives on a wooded 5 acres of land, so she's going to take it to her house. She thinks that it's old enough that it will survive so long as it's not too injured. She said that she will find a sheltered place outside and make sure that it has plants to munch on and water. She said that there are a lot of bunnies out at her house.
When I returned to the back yard, the bunny was still in the same place, even though neither my dogs nor I had been in the backyard for about 10 minutes. I found a large tub and put straw in the bottom. Then I put on some garden gloves, and gently placed the bunny in the tub. It could move around some, but it didn't try to flee. I took the bunny to Jan. By the time that we got to her house, the bunny had burrowed under the straw for safety.
Since my dogs destroyed the den, Jan suggested that I find a sheltered nearby spot outside of my fence to 'suggest' a safer place for the bunnies to relocate.
The destroyed den
My suggestion for a new den
Jan said that I might be able to encourage the bunnies to relocate to a place outside my yard if I find a fairly close spot that is sheltered and move a shovel full of the hair and dirt from the hold nest into the new. Along my alley neighbor's fence is a climbing hydrangea that could provide some shelter and a nice hidden spot. I found a tucked away spot, dug a little with my shovel, and placed some of the hair and dirt from the old den in the new spot. I hope that they build their new home outside of my yard. I really don't want my dogs to be able to get to them.