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Wild Animals/Two dead baby bunnies (kits)


Yesterday I opened my kitchen window and noticed two dead baby bunnies under the large shrubs there. This morning I went outside to check out the situation and both were missing. No trace of them anywhere. So I have two questions... what would have killed them (there were no visible marks on them) and left them there? And what would have come back and carried them away?

Dear Pamela,

Any number of predators might have killed them, or they might have died from natural causes and then been carried off by a scavenger.

If you (or a neighbor) use pesticides or snail bait, that could have killed them.  That means that whatever carried them off is also at risk of poisoning, if it ingested them.

If you live in a community where they control rabbit populations, then you might be seeing the tragic consequences.

There are just too many possibilities for me to know for sure without video camera surveillance footage.



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Dana Krempels, Ph.D.


I'm an evolutionary biologist with a passion for animals. Ask about natural history, behavior, ecology, evolution. PLEASE NOTE:

If you have found an "orphaned" or injured wild animal or bird:
Please don't waste time asking questions on the internet, as the answers may come too late. DO NOT FEED THE ANIMAL, and DO NOT HANDLE IT unless it is in imminent danger. (Many wild "orphans" are not orphans at all!) If you are absolutely sure it is orphaned, keep it warm and quiet, and find a LICENSED WILDLIFE REHABILITATOR HERE. Don't try to raise a baby yourself, or rehabilitate an injured anmal. Many a well-intentioned rescuer will do more harm than good, especially with baby birds and baby rabbits.

Without geographic location, time of day and habitat, I can't help. A clear picture is always best.

It's impossible for me to I.D. an animal call without hearing it myself.

I'm not an expert on comparative strengths of different animals (more complicated than you might think!) nor bite forces.

I refuse to answer "Which of these two animals--X or X--would win in a fight?".

These hypothetical matchups range from impossible (Grizzly Bears and Gorillas don't even occupy the same continent.) to ridiculous (Someone asked me "Who would win a fight between a Great White Shark and a tiger?").

The vast majority of animals--even the fierce and powerful--are not as warlike as Homo sapiens, and it's childish to project our aggressiveness onto them.


I have been the fortunate caregiver to a group of Black-tailed Jackrabbits rescued from the Miami International Airport, and not releasable in this area because they are not native. I also have rehabbed and released Eastern Cottontails, and am in contact with many very experienced wildlife rescuers who regularly handle injured or orphaned rabbits and hares.

House Rabbit Society

Exotic DVM journal

I have a Ph.D. in Biology, with main areas of expertise in evolutionary biology, genetics, botany, and ecology.

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