Baby Desert Cottontails delivered recently to the Wildlife Center. Photo by Larry Jeffryes
The Wildlife Center at 19 Wheat St. in Espanola admitted baby Desert Cottontail number 36 for the season last Saturday.
More often than not, the vast majority of young cottontails brought into the hospital for care have either been rescued unnecessarily by a well meaning individual or are the victims of landscaping incidents.
It is very important to remember that we are now in the heat of baby season here in New Mexico, as well as most other areas of the country. Cottontails grow up very fast, leaving the ‘burrow’ around three weeks of age and therefore it is easy to assume that little ones found alone are orphaned or need some sort of intervention.
Additionally, the mother rabbit only feeds her young twice a day, early morning and late evening. It is not unusual for the young babies to be left all alone for the better part of the day with the mother coming and going unnoticed.
The Wildlife Center asks that you pay close attention during this time of year when you are outdoors gardening/landscaping or letting your pets roam in the yard. Generally, young are born in a very shallow burrow or even above ground in a nest that you may not notice until you’ve already stumbled upon the area.
Please call your local wildlife rehabilitator BEFORE rescuing these animals to ensure that they do in fact need intervention.
For information, visit http://thewildlifecenter.org/index.php