When people find a baby bunny they often assume they are orphaned because there are no adult rabbits around. But most of the time, the babies are just fine. Mothers only feed baby rabbits once or twice a day, usually at dawn and dusk. The remainder of the time the mother stays away from the nest to avoid attracting the attention of potential predators.
Baby rabbits usually leave the nest when they are about 3 weeks old and are about the size of a chipmunk. If you find a small rabbit with open eyes, erect ears that is fully furred and able to hop, they are old enough to be on their own. As small and helpless as they may look, they are not an orphan.
You can prevent harm to baby rabbits by checking your yard carefully for rabbit nests before you mow. Do this especially if the grass is taller than usual. If your pet gets hold of a bunny, a licensed wildlife rehabilitator or veterinarian should see the bunny immediately. It is very important bring the pet indoors immediately, because a dog or cat will remember where the nest is and put the other bunnies at risk.
Rabbits can be infected with tularemia, which may be transmitted to people if they eat undercooked, infected meat or handle a sick animal. It’s best not to handle any wild animal, if at all possible. Wear gloves if you must handle a wild rabbit, and wash your hands thoroughly afterwards.