BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > DIET & CARE > WARNING Re: Bunnies and the Outdoors!
Last Post by PeppersMama at 7/31/2008 2:43 AM (37 Replies)
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User is Offline Frostyleo8
Tallahassee, Florida
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12/22/2007 7:16 AM

Everyone:  Thank God, both of my bunnies are ok.  But, I want to share the horrible experience we had this morning with you in hope that it might help prevent the same thing from happening to anyone else's bunny.

We live in a residential neighborhood and have a sliding glass door that opens up to a small courtyard.  I have a puppy fence that I put up just outside the glass door, connected to each side of the door opening.  I occassionally open the glass door so the bunnies can hop out onto the patio for some fresh air.  The fenced area is half circle-shaped and not very large, they don't stay out very long at the time, and we're always just inside to keep an eye on them.  The thought about predators attacking them has crossed my mind, but I figured it would never happen in such a small covered area, with us right there to keep an eye on them.  BUT, WE WERE WRONG.

After going into the kitchen for literally less than 30 seconds, my husband heard a commotion and came back to see Hudwyn running in through the doorway, with a hawk twice his size attached to him.  The hawk detached, Hudwyn got away inside, and the hawk remained just inside the doorway.  My husband managed to get him out and make sure the two bunnies were ok.  Gwynny was inside during it all, but was very shaken up.  (Thankfully, I was upstairs and missed most of it.)  Hudwyn lost two nails completely, but so far he doesn't seem to be injured otherwise.  (We called the vet and were advised to watch him the rest of the day)  The bleeding stopped, he's now hopping around, eating and resting as normal, and we're SO VERY lucky.

Apparently, our brave little Hudwyn had managed to pull himself, hawk attached into the doorway enough for the hawk to let go.  We feel HORRIBLE, stupid, and have learned our lesson.  Please remember to NEVER, EVER leave your bunny vulnerable for even one second, because tragedy can happen that quickly!!!


User is Offline LittlePuffyTail
New Brunswick, Canada
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12/22/2007 7:20 AM
Poor you (and Hudwyn)! I'm so glad your buns avoided disaster! Nothing would be worse than seeing some bird take off with your bunny! Thanks for sharing your story and *hugs* to Hudwyn.
Proud to be a Bunny Hugger and a voice for the voiceless
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User is Offline Beka27
Cleveland, Ohio (USA)
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12/22/2007 8:54 AM

thank goodness he's okay!  thanks for the warning.

Meadow..... Photobucket ...... Max, my angel bunny

User is Offline Floppy
Bay Area, CA
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12/22/2007 9:04 AM
gees that sounds so tramatizing! Glad he is ok!
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xoxo
Floppy & Toki

User is Offline Honey&PeepersMom
North Central Florida
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12/22/2007 9:08 AM

I am so glad your bun is ok. How frightening. We were thinking about doing the same thing this summer. I will rethink that now. I already bought the pen and pick the spot in the yard. Thank you for sharing your experience. Again I am so glad your bunny is okay.

Live each day like it is your last; never say anything you will regret tomorrow; always follow your heart, it will take you where you are meant to be.

User is Offline Scarlet_Rose
Colorado
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12/22/2007 9:45 AM

I'm so glad this wasn't a tragic end that often happens in these cases and I am VERY relieved that your bun is O.K. Rabbits can die from shock too so give him extra love. However, I am a bit shocked and disappointed at your vet for not having you take in your rabbit. If anything to have the claw punctures cleaned out. Skin lesions, puncture wounds etc. can get infected quite easily in rabbits. Also do an all over body check to see if there are any tear marks that need stitches and call that vet back if something looks bad and the fur needs to be shaved off for the wound to heal.  Remember that rabbits are notorious for hiding if they are hurt.

I recommend that you dilute some peroxide, irrigate the puncture marks and daub some A & D oinment or regular Neosporin on them right away. Blow on the fur to expose the skin in patches for an easy and gentle way to check for wounds. Talons can harbor microbes or bacteria that will make an animal sick, even if they get away. Keep a close eye on your guy for behavioral changes (rabies etc.) and I recommend that you keep your babies inside. Since the hawk knows they are there, it may hang around for an extended period of time for a second go at a meal. God bless.


User is Offline Frostyleo8
Tallahassee, Florida
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12/22/2007 10:03 AM

Thanks.  We have cleaned and disinfected the nail wounds and have already checked him for wounds other than his nails...there are no others.  Sadly, I'm usually diappointed with the vets in our town, and doubt they would have done any more for him and we did.  We won't be letting the bunnies out again here at all, and we're watching him constantly to ensure he improves.  If he doesn't, you can be sure we will take him to the vet.  


User is Offline JK
Mill Valley, CA
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12/22/2007 10:30 AM

That's unbelievable!  I had no idea a hawk could do such a thing!  Eeeks!  Thank God you have a happy ending!


User is Offline Scarlet_Rose
Colorado
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12/22/2007 10:46 AM
Whew, well I am glad we're here for you and relieved that you were able to clean the wounds and they weren't many. I am surprised to hear that no puncture marks were in the skin on his back etc. Keep an eye on him for the coming days. You might want to just check on the progress of them daily and clean them every other day. I think you will find that they will heal quickly.

User is Offline Sarita
(Dallas)
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12/22/2007 1:13 PM
Oh my gosh! I am so glad that your buns are okay. What a terrifying experience for them and for you. It's awful that you and your bunnies had to experience this but I'm so glad that you posted this warning - it's a dangerous world out there for our furry rabbit babies...maybe other people will take heed and learn a valuable lesson from this.

User is Offline Lisa_43
Perth Western Australia
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12/22/2007 1:26 PM

How horrible for you, I am so relieved he is ok.

((((((((((((Healing vibes))))))))))))


User is Offline DustBunneh'sMama
Milltown, Wisconsin
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12/22/2007 10:24 PM

Thank you very much for posting your experience so we can all learn from it. I'm so happy your babies are okay!  How much did the rabbit weigh that the hawk tried to take off with?  I'm just curious to see how big of a rabbit they will try to steal. Thank you.

Proud mama to my 2 month old, 9 lb. bouncing baby Flemish Giant bunneh, "Ole Sven Joseph Gigantica, Earl of Niblet"

User is Offline Martie
North Carolina
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12/23/2007 2:26 AM
oh yes, a hawk will get a rabbit in a heartbeat..you must have your outdoor area covered on the top for protection.
I'm sooooooo glad your bunnies escaped, what a horrible experience. I've been through it with my bantam chickens,
makes me sick!
I hope all will be ok for both your buns.

User is Offline Bunzai
Long Island, NY
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12/23/2007 4:38 AM
I can totally believe what happend. Thank God you bun did not die from the shock. We live in an industrial area of Long Island and even though it is built up we have daily hawk invasions. We feed birds and have huge hedges for cover, but still we have casualties amongst the pigeons and song birds. We have seen hawks walking along the tops of the hedges trying to fish birds out. (there is a chain link fence embedded in them so they are safe) We have seen redtails take squirrels out of trees.

Just before I logged on to this site I had a hawk slam into my screened window trying to get a pigeon. I don't even let my cats out because of this. They are very elderly and like to lay in the sun on the patio.

To answer Dustbunneh'sMama, a hawk will take a small dog. If they are hungry enough and desperate enough they will attack even with the dog on the leash. Frostyleo, please don't blame yourself. If you had thought for one moment that a hawk would be bold enough to go on an enclosed patio, you never would have let them go outside.

And I have to agree, your vet sounds like a pillock.
"That rabbit is dynamite!" ... ..Monty Python's Camelot

User is Offline wendyzski
Chicago, IL
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12/23/2007 7:14 AM

For those who still want to take their buns out in nicer weather, I know that some people will clip a bedsheet to the top of an X-pen for protection.  You still shouldn't leave them, but this way you can read your book nearby and have less worry.

 

I'm so glad your bunny is OK.


User is Offline Gravehearted
Campbell, CA
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12/23/2007 11:09 AM
wow, that is truly terrifying! I am so glad your husband managed to hear the commotion and get out there before it was too late.
I hope his paw will heal well and he'll be ok...
~ bunny mom to to HRH Hareiette, Viktor the crazy Krum and Pandora, prima binky ballerina ~ Save a life, Adopt!

User is Offline Spacehopper
Buckinhamshire - UK
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12/23/2007 2:43 PM
Jeeeez, that's awful. Poor things. My mum told me this morning that her friend watched in horror last weekend as an apparent wild cat took off over the fence with her pet mummy duck in it's mouth!!! I hope everythings ok!!!!!!!x
Never regret anything that once made you smile! :-)

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
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12/23/2007 10:50 PM
Wow!!! I am so glad your bunnies are okay. That is an amazing terrifying story. I have heard of hawks and owls getting domestic bunnies out of backyards, but this is a first where they were so close the doorway and brought inside. Thank you so much for sharing because I think this experience will actually save other bunnies lives, as I will keep this as a reference.

I also know of others who cover their pens and even balcony areas (sides and top) to prevent land and air predators from getting their bunnies. Maybe that will be something you can do IF you decide to allow them to the balcony again.


User is Offline Frostyleo8
Tallahassee, Florida
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12/24/2007 4:34 AM

 

We're caring for Hudwyn's two nails and they are healing very well.  He doesn't have a temperature, and he's still got his same wonderful spirit.  He's getting full attention and being spoiled rotten.  He's awesome, and he's the best Christmas blessing we could receive this year. 

(We too think it's odd that there are no claw wounds, and we're not sure how he injured his toenails since it all happened so quickly.  All that matters now is that he's ok, and we're much wiser.)

(DustBunneh'sMama:  Hudwyn is 5 pounds.)


User is Offline JK
Mill Valley, CA
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12/24/2007 4:44 AM
Maybe he was desperately trying to grip onto something and that's how he injured his nails. I just keep picturing this awful nightmare! I've seen hawks and crows pick up baby birds but never anything bigger. So happy he's ok! He's a lucky boy!

User is Offline Kokaneeandkahlua
Edmonton, Alberta; Canada
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12/24/2007 5:32 AM
Oh my goodness how scary!!!! TG he's OK!!!
Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Kokanee & Chuck My Bridge Bunnies-you left paw prints on my heart

User is Offline Gravehearted
Campbell, CA
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12/25/2007 10:49 AM
I'm glad to hear he's healing well, and that he doesn't seem to be freaked out or stressed about it.
~ bunny mom to to HRH Hareiette, Viktor the crazy Krum and Pandora, prima binky ballerina ~ Save a life, Adopt!

User is Offline Frostyleo8
Tallahassee, Florida
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12/27/2007 7:51 AM

Update:  Hudwyn's wounds are pretty much healed up, and he's running around and goofing off as normal.  What a tough little guy!  I spotted a hawk (the hawk?) this morning sitting high in a nearby tree.  He's waiting for my little bunnies to come out of their "holes" again, which they WILL not be doing!  It's sad, they look out the door now, wishing they could go out.  I plan to one day build them an outside running area with wire or screen above it for complete protection.  But for now, they'll just have to be true HOUSE rabbits.


User is Offline Kokaneeandkahlua
Edmonton, Alberta; Canada
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12/27/2007 11:19 AM
That sounds like a great idea! You might want to build it out of the NIC cubes, as you can always rebuild it to suit changing needs and plus it's pretty light and easy to move around! or, the other thing I was thinking was to use that latice stuff as the walls and you could make the roof our of a big tarp. That way they have a roof and shade, plus breathability....Just ideas though

Really glad to hear he's better, I was just telling my family yesterday what happened to him.
Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Kokanee & Chuck My Bridge Bunnies-you left paw prints on my heart

User is Offline Ash
Palm Bay, Florida
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12/27/2007 3:50 PM
WOW! I'm glad that your bun buns are ok! That's a good idea about the screen run area outside.
"The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way it's animals are treated"-Gandhi

User is Offline babybunsmum
Waterloo ON Canada
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12/28/2007 3:48 AM

what a freakin scary story!!!  wow.  i'm so glad it ended as it did and it can serve as a cautionary tale for others instead of... well... you know.   yay for hudwyn feeling better!

I like work. It fascinates me. I sit and look at it for hours.

User is Offline LuvmyNetherland
California
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7/23/2008 12:51 PM
oh wow how lucky.

User is Offline Binkles
Orlando, FL
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7/23/2008 1:28 PM
See, this is EXACTLY why I've always been so apprehensive about taking bunnies out for walks on leashes. I know that plenty of people do it, and probably most of the people on this forum do it. But I'm just...God-awful terrified of birds of prey.

About 5 years ago, in a quiet residential neighbourhood not far from here, someone was walking their small dog on a leash and had a hawk swoop down and carry it off.

Yeesh.

I would LOVE to get Little-Bit out on a leash, but...I just don't think it's worth it. Does anyone have any ideas to divert hawks? I've thought about all sorts of crazy things -like taping brightly-coloured paper to the bun's ears or carrying a brightly-coloured umbrella.

But I just don't know..
01/29/04 - 07/13/08

User is Offline LuvmyNetherland
California
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7/23/2008 1:34 PM
not sure just watch out and look around before you go anywhere stay away from places that have alout of trees that a bird would hide in you know just the basic stuff, I used to Take Easter for walks.

User is Offline MarkBun
Richmond, CA
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7/23/2008 1:41 PM
More than likely the hawk didn't have a clear swoop area to get to Hudwyn due to the cage. He probably only got fur and Hudwyn ran inside, tearing his nails in the process. Maryann obviously has encountered them before because the two times I had tried to take her out into the park, all she did was hunker down in the grass and looked like a black and white puddle with two eyes.

Unfortunately, domesticated buns don't always know that the big flying things are bad guys and don't keep a lookout for them. I don't take my buns outside not only because of that risk but also because of the possibility of insect bites and other possible illnesses. Most hawks won't try for an animal if it is within your arm's distance as the hawk doesn't want to become the prey. However one that is comfortable around people (such as having some people feed them pieces of cold cuts) or one that is really starving may take a chance. And, there's no way to tell if it is such a hawk just by looking at it.

Also, I wouldn't say that the vet was wrong in not having the bun come in. If he wasn't wounded by the hawk directly, it could be more traumatic to box him up and rush him to the vet. A lot of family spoiling was what was called for and it sounds like he's getting it in abundance.

My bonding quest with Maryann - Read about a less than easy bonding with two buns - but they did bond!

User is Offline Scarlet_Rose
Colorado
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7/23/2008 2:01 PM
Binkles I agree and nothing is going to deter a hungry hawk with binocular-type vision. I also would not want to hurt the hawk either by swinging at it and breaking a wing or what-have-you. They are only doing as their instinct tells them to and they are also a very beautiful animal.

User is Offline JK
Mill Valley, CA
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7/23/2008 2:36 PM

No I do not think most people take their buns outside!  I know some do but many more don't. I would never take Edson outside - heck he can't even take leaving his room! There's just no reason and I would be overly paranoid about stuff in the streets and the grasses, bugs, fleas, diseases, dogs, cats, etc.  Not worth it. Edson's room, my office, has plently of light and I keep the windows open for fresh air which I think  is important.


User is Offline Hedi
Dayton, OH
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7/25/2008 9:47 AM
I agree w/ Knowltons4, most people on this site actually don't take their rabbits out. We have a little doggy stroller for ours but have never used it. Too afraid it will freak them out. Sometimes my buns will sit and watch the outside world by the sliding glass doors but none have ever tried to get near the door when its open.
Carrera 6yo Mini Rex
Pookie 5yo Dwarf
Cooper 2yo old Mini Lop
Hooper (Hooptie) 2yo Mini Rex

User is Offline Balefulregards
Montreal
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7/25/2008 10:07 AM
Wow. That was a shocking story! I am glad that your buns are all right.

We also have an "outdoor" play space for Coco - and I have places a "screen" of chicken wire I bought at the Reno Depot for 10 bucks over it. I figure this will prevent an attack from above - what do you all think?

User is Offline Beeslee
Boston
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7/27/2008 5:44 AM
OMG! So scary!!!!!! I'm sooo glad your buns is ok! Big buns hugs to feel better soon!

When I found Bunykins she was so lucky because it was in an area with hawks, coyotees etc. Every day I look at her and wonder why someone would dump her in the middle of nowhere and knowing that she would have never made it overnight in the woods. My friend who I was visiting in upstate NY when I found my buns had her kitty attacked by a hawk. She knew what happened because she saw the claw marks on her kitties back with a big bite mark (open wound area and missing fur) around her neck area where it looks like it tried to hold on to the kitty with it's beak. Her kitty was very lucky that day. She now keeps her inside because of this. Very scary that they are so brave to swoop down on our pets!

User is Offline PeppersMama
Evansville, Indiana
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7/30/2008 7:39 AM
my aunt used to let her 3 pound yorkie out in her back yard and she would just sit on the patio while the dog played, until a hawk decided to swoop down and try to get her! the dog (Halle) was fiesty enough to make the hawk drop her before he could even take off again, but now the dog gets to go outside on a leash only and she watches her very carefully!
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User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
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7/30/2008 10:30 PM
peppers mama - SCARY! And that's WITH your Aunt nearby watching, and the hawk still brave enough to swoop down? (shivers)

User is Offline PeppersMama
Evansville, Indiana
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7/31/2008 2:43 AM
yeah i know definately scary, luckily the little girl wasnt hurt!
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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > DIET & CARE > WARNING Re: Bunnies and the Outdoors!

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