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Question
2 weeks ago my dog killed a mother bunny and siblings and I saved 4 and 3 died and I have one left named Pentacle but just this morning she ate some of my hair as well when I went to feed her after so she wasn't suffocating and I caught her eating paper towels and I don't know what to do plus she has been shy and wary of me and my family which is weird because she loved to be held please  tell me if that's bad and if she will live. because I have become very attached to her.

       Alice baxter

Answer
Dear Alice,

Wild rabbits do not thrive in captivity.  Baby rabbits may be affectionate at first, but as they wean, their wildness kicks in, and their instinct to be free takes over.  Though you are attached to her, Pentacle should be taken to a wildlife rehabilitator (only a TRUSTWORTHY one, and if you need a reference, I can find one; just need to know your approximate geographic location) for gentle release.

Some cottontails become very calm and "tame" around people, but it's a matter of personality.  If a baby starts to become wild and nervous and shy around people, it is her personality, and nothing can change that.  Being kept in captivity is stressful for her, and she is not one of the cottontails who can live happily with humans around.  Some can, but most cannot.

I hope you will do the right thing and give Pentacle what she needs, which is the freedom to be with her own kind.  You have done a wonderful job raising her and saving her life.  But she is her own little person and needs to choose her own path.

I hope this helps.

Dana

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Dana Krempels, Ph.D.

Expertise

I've lived with companion rabbits for more than 35 years, and consider them members of my family. I can answer any questions about the biology and health of rabbits, from the commonplace to the unusual. But please note:

RULE #1:
THE INTERNET IS NOT THE PLACE TO SEEK HELP IN AN EMERGENCY.

...it is an EMERGENCY.

Find a rabbit vet at www.rabbit.org/vet for immediate help, and don't risk your bunny's life by spending time asking questions online! If you can't get in touch with your vet, read these Emergency Sick Bunny Instructions.

If you have found a wild baby rabbit, please read these EMERGENCY INSTRUCTIONS FOR WILD BABY RABBITS and then use this link to FIND A LOCAL WILDLIFE REHABILITATOR who can give you the right advice.


RULE #2:
Help me help you! Please make your subject line informative if you have an urgent question. then LET ME KNOW IN THE SUBJECT LINE so I can give your question highest priority over non-urgent questions. If you don't do this, then I can't guarantee timely assistance!

For all the best, most accurate rabbit health, care and behavior information, visit The House Rabbit Society.

Experience

I have been rescuing and rehabilitating domestic and wild rabbits for about 30 years. I have written articles for many rabbit rescue publications, as well as for the veterinary journal, Exotic DVM. I own EtherBun, the internet's largest listserve dedicated to health, care, and behavior of domestic rabbits.

Organizations
Houserabbit Adoption, Rescue, and Education, Inc. (H.A.R.E., Inc.) president National House Rabbit Society (Board member)

Publications
Exotic DVM
Warren Peace (Journal of the House Rabbit Society of Miami)
Various newsletters of the House Rabbit Society, nationwide

Education/Credentials
Ph.D - Biology
B.S. - Biology
B.A. - English

Awards and Honors
Lightspan Academic Excellence Award for web site on rabbit health and biology
(http://www.bio.miami.edu/hare)

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