I have been seeing lots of wildlife lately. As our monsoon season starts to hit it seems all of the critters come out. The other night we had a tarantula at the front door. The day before yesterday, we saw a Gila Monster on the side of our road. Yesterday I saw a horned toad in my garden. And there have been TONS of lizards all over the place. But this next sighting takes the cake....
I was sitting inside reading when I heard a loud squeaking noise in the front courtyard. I finally got up to see what it was, thinking it was a bird that often comes by and makes all kinds of noise. When I walked out the front door, the squeaking stopped. There is an old milk can next to the front door and I noticed there was a snake wrapped around and behind it! ( NOTE: I am not crazy about snakes.) I did a quick check and saw no rattle on the tail, so went back inside to get a broom to shoo him off the patio and on his way.
When I went back outside as soon as I started to shoo the snake out from behind the milk can, the squeaking started again and LOUD. That is when I noticed it had something in it's mouth and that was what was doing the squeaking. This is where it gets surreal. The "thing" in the snake's mouth was a BABY COTTONTAIL BUNNY. I couldn't believe what I was seeing! Being the bunny mama that I am, I sprang in to action and fought that snake for the bunny (picture hand-to-snake combat here). OK, not really, I just beat the heck out of it with the broom until it dropped the bunny and slithered out of the courtyard.
I grabbed the bunny (who again started squeaking like crazy) and wrapped him in a towel. This little guy was no bigger than a small hamster. I checked him over and he had snake slobber on his sides, but didn't appear to be seriously injured. He looked to be maybe a couple weeks old, not quite old enough to be out of the nest on his own. And I had no idea where the nest might be, so I couldn't return him. I put him in a box with some hay and brought him into the house. Now, you KNOW I wanted to keep this little fluff ball. But, I thought better of it.
Luckily, there is a wildlife rehabilitation center very close to us, so I called them up and they were more than happy to take the bunny in. They will bottle feed this little guy and care for him until he is big enough to release back into the desert.
See, I told you it had a happy ending. :)
(By the way, NEVER try to bottle feed a wild bunny with kitten replacement milk, it will cause the bunny to bloat and they will die. Also, do not give them anything like gatorade. There is a particular bunny replacement milk that they must be fed until they are old enough for solid foods.)