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Thread: Mysterious rabbit death

  1. #1

    Default Mysterious rabbit death

    Hi all,

    Can't find an answer to this on google so thought I'd ask here.

    We have two rabbits that were left playing around in the garden on the 13th July during the daytime.(Much like every day).

    I spotted them at 2pm - they were fine. 3 hours later, I noticed them both missing.

    Had a quick look round and found one hidden in a cravass, visibly shaken. Four of us scanned every inch of the garden and couldn't find the other one.

    We assumed he may have been attacked and taken although there was no sign of struggle. No fur or blood traces.

    This morning (the 16th July) we spot his corpse, in a visible place where it definitely wasn't the past three days. It seems that whatever took it, killed it and then brought it back.

    His neck had a huge gash on it, but aside from that the rest of the body was intact. There was also fur strewn across the garden.

    So I guess my question would be, what predator animal fits the profile of this type of behaviour?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Mama Doe MiniC's Avatar
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    Sorry for your loss

    I'm afraid I don't know what sort of predator it could be, all I can think of is that maybe he escaped from your garden and then found his way home and shortly afterwards died from wounds he had received. Could your other rabbit have fought with him?

  3. #3
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    I'm sorry this has happened. It must be very distressing

    Are you in the UK? If so, my guess is that it's a fox, although it does seem odd behaviour to return the corpse Are dogs or cats able to enter the garden? I suppose the gash on the neck is where the rabbit has been carried

    How is the surviving rabbit now? It must have been a dreadful shock for him/her.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by MiniC View Post
    Sorry for your loss

    I'm afraid I don't know what sort of predator it could be, all I can think of is that maybe he escaped from your garden and then found his way home and shortly afterwards died from wounds he had received. Could your other rabbit have fought with him?
    The other rabbit wouldn't have fought him. They were best buds. Both very docile too. I don't think he escaped, there's a 2 metre perimeter wall. There are means of escape that my cat takes but unfeasible for a bunny.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Omi View Post
    I'm sorry this has happened. It must be very distressing

    Are you in the UK? If so, my guess is that it's a fox, although it does seem odd behaviour to return the corpse Are dogs or cats able to enter the garden? I suppose the gash on the neck is where the rabbit has been carried

    How is the surviving rabbit now? It must have been a dreadful shock for him/her.
    Yes I'm in London. I thought it might be a fox too. We have them and stray cats wandering in. My cat usually shoos them out pronto. But he wasn't around that day. I was in the garden outbuilding at the time but didn't hear a thing. Makes me feel terrible that I was that close to them and didn't even realise they were being attacked.

    Surviving rabbit is scared to come out of the hutch. Doesn't eat much either. Seems bummed out to say the least. My cat spotted the corpse this morning and has been sniffing and patrolling the garden non-stop since then.

  6. #6
    Wise Old Thumper MightyMax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slip View Post
    Hi all,

    Can't find an answer to this on google so thought I'd ask here.

    We have two rabbits that were left playing around in the garden on the 13th July during the daytime.(Much like every day).

    I spotted them at 2pm - they were fine. 3 hours later, I noticed them both missing.

    Had a quick look round and found one hidden in a cravass, visibly shaken. Four of us scanned every inch of the garden and couldn't find the other one.

    We assumed he may have been attacked and taken although there was no sign of struggle. No fur or blood traces.

    This morning (the 16th July) we spot his corpse, in a visible place where it definitely wasn't the past three days. It seems that whatever took it, killed it and then brought it back.

    His neck had a huge gash on it, but aside from that the rest of the body was intact. There was also fur strewn across the garden.

    So I guess my question would be, what predator animal fits the profile of this type of behaviour?

    Thanks

    Welcome to the Forum slip, though sad that it's under these circumstances

    So sorry to hear about your rabbit. I can only believe that it was a fox. I have seen the way London foxes 'toy' with their prey. I wonder if he was coming back for the other rabbit? I should think your remaining rabbit would be suffering from shock, which unfortunately can still kill a rabbit.

    If possible I would bring him/her into the house for safety, even if temporarily. A fox is likely to come back. You should keep your rabbit warm and may sure he/she is eating. It may take a few days to get over the shock.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by MightyMax View Post
    Welcome to the Forum slip, though sad that it's under these circumstances

    So sorry to hear about your rabbit. I can only believe that it was a fox. I have seen the way London foxes 'toy' with their prey. I wonder if he was coming back for the other rabbit? I should think your remaining rabbit would be suffering from shock, which unfortunately can still kill a rabbit.

    If possible I would bring him/her into the house for safety, even if temporarily. A fox is likely to come back. You should keep your rabbit warm and may sure he/she is eating. It may take a few days to get over the shock.
    Thanks for the advice. The outcome is bittersweet. Although very strange, it's good in a way that whatever took him, brought him back. Provides closure at least. Not knowing what had happened to him was proving hard to deal with.

    To anyone on this forum who allow rabbits to be out in the garden, do you accept the risk that they can be potentially killed or do you take any protective measures? Because obviously we can't watch them every second of the day.

  8. #8
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    [QUOTE=slip;6932691]Thanks for the advice. The outcome is bittersweet. Although very strange, it's good in a way that whatever took him, brought him back. Provides closure at least. Not knowing what had happened to him was proving hard to deal with.

    To anyone on this forum who allow rabbits to be out in the garden, do you accept the risk that they can be potentially killed or do you take any protective measures? Because obviously we can't watch them every second of the day.[/QUOTE]

    You will find different people have different views on this.

    In addition to rabbits, I also have chickens. We used to let our chickens free range in the garden, but have twice had a fox attack. Once, I chased the fox, who eventually dropped the chicken, and the chicken survived, the second time the same thing happened, but unfortunately the chicken was too badly wounded and our vet could not save her. We now let the chickens out several times a day, but only when we are very close to them. My rabbits live outside in a large shed with attached outside areas. I do not let them out into the garden at all, because of the risk. I live in the countryside where foxes are supposedly more vary than in towns. Well that maybe so, but I have seen a fox hiding in the hedge several times and we often find fox droppings on the lawn overnight. Also after the first occasion when the chicken survived, the fox returned the same day in daylight and attempted to take a chicken that was a couple of feet away from us.

    So for me, whilst I would like the rabbits to be able to free range, I cannot take the risk.

  9. #9
    Wise Old Thumper MightyMax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slip View Post
    Thanks for the advice. The outcome is bittersweet. Although very strange, it's good in a way that whatever took him, brought him back. Provides closure at least. Not knowing what had happened to him was proving hard to deal with.

    To anyone on this forum who allow rabbits to be out in the garden, do you accept the risk that they can be potentially killed or do you take any protective measures? Because obviously we can't watch them every second of the day.

    You're welcome

    I live in a city too, and I have seen foxes jump into my garden in broad daylight. They are very brazen and wouldn't think twice about the fact you were in the garden also.

    My rabbits have total freedom in the house to go wherever they wish. When they go out, it's under close supervision. I am out with them and am close by.

    Parsnipbun on here, who has a fair few rabbits, has electrified fences. I am thinking about that for my garden too

  10. #10

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    So sorry for your loss x

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