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Of course, we didn’t know there were odds to beat.

The other day, I almost stepped on a baby bunny in the grass. It was young, hairless, and far away from anything that could be considered a nest. So, we picked it up, of course.

 

                                                          Photo by Carolyn Gayle

Since there was no way to return it to its mother, we took it in the house and named it “Scooter” because of the way it scooted across the floor. But what do we feed it–and how? It was Adrian’s bedtime, but we ran up to the grocery store and bought some powdered goat milk. I found an eye dropper, and Scooter figured out how to drink from it. All was well.

Scooter lived in the shower, because that’s the only place he was safe from the cats. We put him in a box with towels for bedding, and I got up several times to feed him warm milk that first night. We fed him throughtout the next day, and that evening, Adrian said, “Scooter is so cold.” It was true. Being hairless, we were always able to feel the temperature of Scooter’s skin, and it was unusually cold. I lay with him on my chest until he warmed up, put him on a hot water bottle, and again, fed him throughout the night. Early the following morning, he wouldn’t eat. He was cold again, so I got back in bed and put him on my chest to warm him up. Eventually, he began to spasm, and then died. It’s a strange feeling to have something die while lying on your body.

When Adrian awoke, I had to give him the bad news. He held Scooter’s body for a long time, exploring it, and later buried the bunny on his own in our newly designated animal graveyard under a cedar tree.

What we didn’t know is that wild baby rabbits have only a one percent chance of survival if you rescue them. Leaving Scooter alone would’ve given him a zero chance of survival, so we tried. At least this way, he died gently and loved.

RIP little Scooter.

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