The start of WRC’s Nursery Season is a bit like sipping a highly caffeinated drink. The adrenaline slowly builds until by mid May it’s just a continuous rush.
From winter when we may not admit even one animal a day, to May when we admit more than 100 animals a day, is a drastic change and we welcome this slow ramping up of patients. It gives us time to fully set up the nurseries, gradually train our seasonal staff and interns, and then bring more than 400 volunteers on board without swamping them on their first day.
We’re currently admitting 8-10 animals daily, and today we received our first cottontail bunnies of the season.
They were orphaned when a dog scared the mother away from the nest. The people waited to see if she’d return and after a couple days brought them in to us.
The important thing to note regarding bunnies, is that the mother rabbit does not actually stay with the nest. So don’t assume bunnies are orphaned when you find them in your yard. She only comes to nurse them twice a day, and then immediately leaves. This is to help prevent detection of the nest by predators. (there’s more info here in our FAQs)
We ask that before you bring any bunnies in to us, that you call first to help ascertain that they’re really orphaned. Of course, if you find any animal with injuries, you do not need to call first, just bring it in.
Today also marked the day that we welcomed back to the building two of the larger, more developed Red Fox kits. We have four total: three littermates and one single orphan.
The markings on both the bunny’s ears and the fox kit’s ears are non-permament marks that we use to help identify them from their littermates.
We moved the kits into a large room where they’ll spend time until they’re old enough to move into outdoor caging. We provide logs, twigs, leaves and other items for enrichment.
Here’s the first video we took of them just peeking out of their kennel (which will serve as a den). We shot another video later today when they were feeling a bit more brave. You can see the first time that they actually fully step outside the kennel!
With warm weather this weekend, our admits will most likely continue to increase. You can find additional updates on our Facebook page.