PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — This time of year, wildlife shelters start filling up with baby bunnies and it has nothing to do with Easter.
Last year, the Animal Rescue League Wildlife Center took in 300 to 400 bunnies.
“They breed from March to September, and not only that, they have pretty large litters compared with other animals,” Wildlife Rehabilitation Assistant Bree Bigelow said. “We’ve had as many as 10 baby bunnies come in together from the same mom.”
Once the rabbits are healthy, they’re released into their real home – the wild.
“Whenever people try to take them into their homes and keep them as pets and cuddle with them, that eastern cottontail though it may seem calm is usually absolutely terrified and scared to death and is not only very scared but very unhappy,” Bigelow explained.
Wildlife center volunteers are nursing an influx of baby squirrels, a baby mourning dove and a pair of goslings who were separated from mother goose. All will eventually be released.
On the flip side, a pair of abandoned Easter ducklings, domestic birds who might have trouble existing in the wild.
“Fortunately, we have a volunteer who has a very large pond. So she takes all of our domestic ducks for us and keeps them warm and happy and fed,” Bigelow said.