What should I do if I find an orphaned or abandoned baby rabbit (bunny)? in Rhode Island | Rabbit

What should I do if I find an orphaned or abandoned baby rabbit (bunny)?

Photo accompanying step 1

If you care, leave it there.

It is human nature to want to help, but the best thing to do when you find apparently orphaned baby rabbits is to leave them alone and undisturbed. Rabbits hide their nests in plain sight, often putting them out in the open in the middle of lawns or flower beds.

Though it may seem that a nest of baby bunnies is abandoned, this is rarely the case. Rabbit mothers nurse their young for as little as five minutes each day. They will typically visit the nest early in the morning and/or overnight. Their milk is very rich, allowing babies to get the nutrition they need in just a few minutes of nursing.

If you encounter a nest of baby rabbits, you should leave them alone and immediately leave the area. If you have accidentally disturbed a nest, put on gloves and gently return rabbits to their nest or the general area where you found them.

If you attempt to care for baby rabbits, there is little chance that they will survive. The care that you attempt to provide can be illegal, unnecessary, and potentially harmful.

Laws and regulations to be aware of

Regulations for Rhode Island

Rules and Regulations Governing Wildlife Rehabilitation

In Rhode island, it is illegal to possess wild animals for purposes of wildlife rehabilitation unless you are licensed by the Department of Environmental Management.

While we attempt to provide guidance about state and federal regulations pertaining to specific species and control techniques, we do not provide information about local jurisdictions (city, town, county, etc.) where regulations may be more restrictive, especially as it applies to discharge of firearms, transport of animals or use of trapping equipment. Contact your local city or county government to inquire further. No guarantee is made that information (or lack of information) associated with a species or control technique is completely accurate or current. You should become familiar with federal, state and local laws before beginning any wildlife control activities.

Was this solution helpful?

Yes No