It’s Baaaack!

Early this morning (around 3:00 A.M.), my husband and I were awakened by loud thumping coming from the bunny hutch in our backyard.  If you recall from my previous post, A Bobcat on the Loose, we had moved our bunnies into our garage because a bobcat was stalking them.  About one month ago, we returned our bunnies to their hutch in the backyard.  We had not seen any sign of the bobcat since we had put the bunnies inside.  We thought we were safe putting the bunnies back outside.

My husband was the first to awake, so he went downstairs to check out what all the commotion was about.  Sure enough, it was the bobcat.  However, my husband said he didn’t think it was the same one we had spotted in our yard last month.  He said this bobcat looked different, not as big, and more stocky.

It didn’t matter whether or not the bobcat was the same one or not.  This one managed to sever one of my bunnies’ ears.  My husband discovered this when he shined a flashlight on the bunnies to make sure they were okay.  Bunnies are prone to heart attacks if they are startled.  My husband noticed that Mickey did not look right and that’s when he saw that one of her ears was missing.  He called the emergency vet immediately.  The vet told him there was pretty much nothing they could do for Mickey.  They asked my husband if Mickey was bleeding.  Amazingly, there was no blood.  My husband and I are still baffled by that.  The vet told my husband that if Mickey was bleeding, they could stitch her up.  There was no blood, so it was not neccessary.  The vet also told my husband that when bunnies fight, they usually go for the ears.  So, it was not unusual to see a bunny with only one ear, especially if they had been in some kind of fight.

Mickey looks like she is doing okay.  I am sure she is traumatized by the whole thing.  However, I don’t know.  Maybe I am projecting my human feelings over to my bunny.  I just know that I am sad every time I look at her.  In any case, we moved the bunnies back into the garage.  My husband is going to try to find a permanent place for them in our garage.  I will feel better if they are inside.  In the end,  I am just happy Mickey is still alive.

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A Bobcat On The Loose

We have had a visitor at my house for the past few days.  A bobcat, who lives nearby in the local canyon has paid early morning calls to my backyard.  Bob, the bobcat, usually visits at 4:00 or 5:00 in the morning.  My daughters’ two bunnies, Mickey and Belle, also lives in a two story hutch in our backyard.  We have had the bunnies for several months and have never had a problem before with the wildlife in our area.  We have coyotes and owls that frequent our neighborhood.  I guess that is the price we pay for living next to a canyon.  However, these animals have never ventured too close.  Bob, the bobcat is different.  He comes over and tries to figure out a way to get to our bunnies.  Here is a picture of him sitting in front of the hutch.  I don’t really know if the bobcat is male or female.  I am assuming it is a male.  I did not get close enough to figure it out, and I don’t plan to!

bobcat

Let me just say, that I am in awe that I get to see this animal up close.  It’s not something you see everyday.  But now, Bob is getting to be a little annoying.  Since he comes stalking at night, he makes a big ruckus when he jumps up to the top of the hutch trying to get at Mickey and Belle.  My husband fixed the pen that surrounds the hutch by getting rid of the gap between the pen and the hutch.  He figured that would be a good way to deter Bob.  However, this just makes Bob angry.  On the second night of his visit, he jumped to the top of the hutch and began pushing at the pen with his paws to try and make a space large enough for him to squeeze into so he could get closer to the bunnies.  Bob was not about to give up.  On the fourth night of his visit, he managed to create that space he wanted.  He could squeeze himself to the bottom, but there was not enough room for him to sit.  So, he would jump back up to the top of the hutch.  My concern is for Mickey and Belle.  When they get upset, they start thumping their paws on the floor of the hutch.  It’s pretty loud, and pretty much keeps me up in the wee hours of the morning.  Even when I have scared Bob away, the bunnies will continue to thump.  I am afraid the neighbors are going to complain.

We have tried to solve the problem.  My friend, Christie, told her husband about my bobcat issue.  He suggested squirting Bob with the hose when he comes around.  I tried hooking up our hose to the outside spigot, but the seal is bad.  My pants got soaked, and I couldn’t leave the water running all night leaking and spraying everywhere.  When my daughter, Cassie yelled out that the bobcat was back this evening (He came around 8:00 P.M. this time), I knew I had to call Animal Control.  When I tried calling Animal Control, I discovered they are not in the office over the weekend.  When I tried to call the emergency number, I was abruptly told I had to call the department of Fish and Wildlife.  Of course, no one is there because it is Sunday!  I called my friend, Nicole, and she said we should put the bunnies inside.  Her daughter, Mattie, came over, too.  We decided to put the bunnies in the garage.

We had to come up with a plan before we attempted to go outside to retrieve Mickey, Belle, and the extra pen we had in the backyard.  It was dark, and we were afraid the bobcat was still lurking around.  We suspected this because the bunnies were thumping madly in the hutch.  If you are wondering where our husbands were, they were both conveniently not at home.  Otherwise, we would have let the men figure it out!  We decided to call our neighbor, Dan, who is a firefighter, to come and help us because we felt like we needed “man power.”  By the time he came over, Nicole, Mattie, Cassie, Allison, and I had managed to enter the backyard, move the pen into the garage, and transport Mickey into the garage.  We were a site, though!  Nicole had a big PVC pipe that she pounded on the ground to scare Bob away.  We followed her out single file clapping our hands and making as much noise as we could.  It was comical.  When Dan arrived, we were in the process of transporting Belle into the garage.  Ha!  I guess we didn’t need “man power” after all.  🙂

I am happy to report that Mickey and Belle are happy in the garage.  I am not sure how long they will have to stay there.  Eventually, we will move them back into their home.  I guess we should see if Bob will move on.  But for now, this is a solution to our problem.  I am just happy I am going to be able to get a good night’s sleep.

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