What to do if your rabbit is lost? Wait, search, or rescue?
April 8, 2020
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Has your pet rabbit escaped somehow, and you are sad because you can’t figure out what to do now?
Well, to find a lost rabbit, you can either wait for the rabbit to come back home or follow the steps below to find your rabbit as early as possible.
House rabbits may find their way back or may not survive the trial out there in the wild.
Therefore I want to discuss in this article what you can do once your rabbit is lost.
I will begin by answering the most common question.
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Can rabbits find their way home?
Yes, rabbits can find their way back home. Being a natural explorer, it is likely your rabbit only went out to explore new territory. Supposedly it hasn’t gone far and will be back in a couple of hours.
There are cases when rabbits are lost and found their way back home after a few days.
However, it is not common for rabbits to completely get lost after they go missing.
Your house rabbit may come back home; nevertheless, it is wise to search your neighborhood to find your lost rabbit if you do not see it for a few hours.
As it is normal for rabbits not to go far from his/her homes.
Will your lost rabbit return?
The answer to this question is different for every different situation.
I cannot answer this question in a few sentences, so let me describe it for your better understanding.
Whether your lost rabbit will return or not depends on what your pet rabbit intends to do.
If your rabbit merely escaped from your lawn to explore the territory, then it will come back. Unless the rabbit travels far and can’t recognize its way back home, then it is a problem.
What if your house rabbit escaped from your house or patio because the rabbit was not enjoying her stay, then it is an opposite scenario.
If the rabbit was not taking pleasure in living in an enclosed area, then they probably escaped finding a better place.
Even domesticated rabbits like hopping, and playing around. Rabbits need companions. If the rabbit guardian raises her rabbits in a tight space and without a companion, then a rabbit might want to escape.
On the contrary, a rabbit might escape her enclosure to exercise in the new territory.
However, in both cases, there are possibilities for pet rabbits to get lost and never return home.
That’s why it is wise as a rabbit guardian to search your rabbit after it is lost for a couple of hours.
A rabbit can’t go very far from its home in a few hours. Similarly, being endangered animal rabbits may face a lot of danger in the world outside of your patio without having his/her guardian.
Can domestic rabbits survive in the wild?
The answer is no. Domestic rabbits haven’t learned the survival technique, unlike their wild counterparts. Domestic rabbits might not even assume the danger of predators.
Regardless of domestic or wild, all rabbits tend to run and hide if they are scared. But a house rabbit lost in the wild world will find it difficult to place for hiding.
A pet rabbit is raised by its keeper with care and love. A rabbit guardian will provide the rabbit with it’s favorite timely and an unlimited supply of hay.
Hence a house rabbit doesn’t grasp how to look for food and survive in the wild. Such a rabbit is unaware of the danger in the wild.
Without food and water, a lost rabbit will be weak out there. As a result, these rabbits are more vulnerable in the wild.
The quicker you find your lost rabbit instead of waiting for it returns, the more prominent the chances of finding your rabbit safe and alive.
What dangers will a lost rabbit face?
There are many dangers for a lost rabbit in the outside world. A pet rabbit has minimum knowledge of survival in the outside world.
The rabbit may have left its enclosure only out of curiosity to explore the new world.
Although a curious rabbit may fancy its new territory, it will soon realize the harshness of the wild world.
There are several dangers for pet rabbits being lost outside.
Pet rabbits have no idea of the traffic in your neighborhood. Your rabbit might get hit by a car, or even by a motorcycle. It is unlikely for such a delicate animal to survive any small crash.
What do you think about predators?
Rabbits are small prey animals. I guess by now you already know that as you own pet rabbits.
How sure are you that there are no predators in your neighborhood?
Rabbits are prey for eagles, coyotes, snakes, and foxes.
For a domestic rabbit without knowing where its home is, it will be challenging for it to outrun its predator.
Rabbits tend to hide in places like tunnels when to keep themselves safe from predators.
If your cute bunny friend is out there and doesn’t have a burrow to hide from its predator, then it will be challenging for the rabbit to outrun a predator.
The result will be more like getting hunted down by the predator ultimately.
Domestic rabbits grew up in sheds or hutches. The rabbit guardians keep them safe from weather and feed them as healthy as they can.
Knowing rabbits have a delicate stomach, you might have fed your rabbit all the best quality of food.
While this bunny friend of yours is lost out, there they will not have enough food. It will require some time for the rabbit to discover nutritious food for themselves. And how sure are you that you have enough nutritious food and snacks for rabbits in your neighborhood?
I say about your neighborhood because I am quite sure your rabbit hasn’t gone far.
It is close to his/her home, yet can’t come back or unwilling to go back because you failed to take proper care of your pet rabbits.
Another problem for a lost rabbit is the weather. Rabbits are ok with moderate temperatures.
If it is too cold, then the rabbit will struggle. In very cold weather if your rabbit is out alone, then the condition will be even worse for your rabbit because rabbits share the warmth of their companion in the group during cold temperatures.
On the contrary, summer can be fatal for rabbits. Especially for pet rabbits, which had loving and caring guardians, will suffer the most in the wild.
If you raised your rabbits under sheds or a place where the rabbits were safe from sunlight, such rabbits would have heat stroke out in the wild.
Heatstroke occurs in rabbits when they can’t tolerate the heat anymore. Rabbits are furry animals, and in high temperatures, during summer, the rabbits cannot endure the heat anymore. They start to move slowly and, finally, collapse. It means the rabbit has a heat stroke.
To prevent heatstroke, rabbit owners take several precautions. Nevertheless, a lost rabbit will collapse and might die in no time without support from his/her guardian.
How to find a lost rabbit?
Finding a lost rabbit is not a difficult task. Rabbit keepers must know that the rabbit will not go very far once it has escaped.
It is also likely that the rabbit has only left the enclosure and is still inside your lawn.
If your lawn has high fences, then look for signs whether the rabbit has dug tunnels or not.
Rabbits are natural diggers, and they will dig tunnels below the fence to go out on the other side.
So if you can locate a tunnel, you can be sure your rabbit is lost and start your search from that location. However, if you can’t see any tunnels around the fence, probably the rabbit is still in your patio and invisible to your eyes.
Rabbits are prey animals and are very good at hiding.
Which is the best place to start your search?
The best place to start your search is within your rabbit territory.
Check inside your house and your patio. Check every corner of your home.
Check under the couch, under the table, under the bed. Similarly, look for your rabbit in high places.
They can jump and may climb into higher grounds. I suggest doing this within a few hours of not seeing your rabbits.
The longer you wait, the more vulnerable your rabbit is to dangers.
If you find your rabbit within your house, then that’s great. If the rabbit has escaped from your home, then it is time you take a look into your neighbors’ house.
Let your neighbors know your rabbit is lost. Surely the rabbit cannot be lost in thin air unless a predator has attacked your rabbit.
If a predator can’t get hold of your bunny, then certainly the rabbit is very close and within the neighborhood.
Also, post on social media and let most people know in your area that you pet rabbits I lost.
So that people will be aware and will know whom to contact if they see a lost bunny in the street.
Losing a pet rabbit like any other pet can be sad. Hence acting quicker is the best solution. Within hours of your rabbit going unnoticed, it is essential to search within the house, and if not found, it is my suggestion to let everyone in your area know that your rabbit is lost.
Hoping for the rabbit to return without taking any actions is not suitable for rabbit guardians.
Your rabbit may return by itself even after it was gone for days.
It is common for a lost rabbit to come back home after a couple of days.
However, your responsibility is to catch your rabbit before harm comes your bunnies way.
How to catch an escaped rabbit?
You cannot catch a rabbit that has escaped unless you can locate your rabbit.
Locating a rabbit can be difficult as they do not have an instinct to go back home.
Clearly, a rabbit does not understand the difference between home and other places.
Thus the rabbit does not know where to return once they escape. They are focussed on exploring the territory.
Hence to bring your escaped rabbit back home, you have to trigger their senses.
What do I mean by that is you have to give them the sense of their familiar location.
What was your rabbit familiar with in his/her home?
Suppose your rabbit had a favorite treat. So you can leave your rabbit’s favorite treat somewhere accessible for your lost bunny.
You can keep drinking water and some fresh hay out there, hoping for your rabbit’s return.
Like I mentioned earlier, your rabbit may return even after being lost for a few days if not any harm was done to your rabbit.
You will not notice when your rabbit has returned because rabbits are crepuscular animals. They are mostly active during dawn and dusk.
And they will possibly come back home during dawn and dusk. You may be surprised to see your rabbit has returned to its hutch one morning.
It also said that to keep your rabbit’s hutch open so that the rabbit will find its way inside and relax there.
A lost rabbit will struggle out there by itself. Thus the rabbit will not try to explore the territory once it faces difficulties. So the possibilities for a lost rabbit to go back home is high.
Merely hoping for its return is not an option. Take actions to look for and search for your rabbits. As well as taking measures for your rabbit, never to escape again is crucial.
Want your rabbit to be happy and healthy?