Animal · Nature

Backyard Bunnies

I can’t think of a single person that would not be able to find the temptation to cuddle a baby bunny in their presence. Unless you’re  extremely heartless! However, in the case of backyard bunnies, this temptation must be dealt with a tad differently.

Ontario Wildlife Removal Inc in the U.S. released a short video educating the public, as it is more evident that so many people seem to be unaware of what to do when finding baby rabbits in their gardens. Baby rabbits, known as kits, are very commonly native to Northern America, and the mating season lasts for a fair amount of time between March to September. More recently, Jared Houliston, head of the pest control service, explains in the video that they receive more and more calls about backyard bunnies asking what the best action is.

So what would you do if you found cute little bunnies in your garden? Jared explains that it is extremely common for the public to be concerned and want to move the bunnies or interfere, which is the complete opposite of what you should do! He continues to state that in fact, unless the babies are obviously injured or hurt, it is best to not disturb them at all. The mother rabbit, even if not seen, visits the nest once/ twice a day, as to not draw attention. Rabbits are very tactile, burrowing shallow nests in open grassy areas near bushes/ trees, meaning that predators will not be a threat as they don’t usually venture out into open space. In actual fact, humans and pets are more of a threat to these cute little creatures, as the nest simply resembles a patch of dead grass. This can be dangerous as it is easier to accidentally mow over the nest or any animal like our pet pooches sniffing around!

What is the solution then? Simple. Cover the nest with fresh grass, be aware that the nest is there, and keep any domesticated animals away from the area. This is only for a short period of time, as the babies will grow quickly and be gone within a couple of weeks. And even if you’re reading this in an area where rabbits aren’t native.. at least you get to read about cute little bunnies!

For more information, check out the video here. YOU WON’T REGRET IT!


Rhea The Naked Lovebird

Lovebirds are known for their charming temperament, great adaptation to captivity, and mostly for their brilliantly coloured feathers. Evolving from their harsh environments of the different regions of Africa, they are beautifully decorated and provide an amazing social experience for owners. However, what if I was to tell you that you could easily fall in love with one particular lovebird that does not acquire the typical rainbow coloured characteristics?

Back Bay Veterinary Clinic in Boston, Massachusetts, rescued Rhea back in July, now famously known as the bald lovebird! Isabella Eisenmann, who has since adopted Rhea, loves to post videos and pictures of her to keep the fans up to date with her daily activities! She is so popular, with now 385K followers, who even send her knitted clothing to keep her nice and cosy!

Rhea the lovebird in her cosy knitted clothing from a fan! (Picture: Caters New Agency)

At first, Isabella explained that there was a lot of controversy over Rhea’s appearance with public concern, however Rhea suffers from a condition called Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease (PBFD). The virus is caused by a differently structured DNA strand, causing infections primarily in young birds. Psittacine species are most susceptible, with the virus affecting the liver, brain and immune system. These symptoms include loss of feathers, development of abnormal feathers, overgrown/ abnormal beak, and occasionally lesions on the nails.

Rhea’s owner even answers any questions that her fans have, describing what Rhea’s skin feels like, daily care and more information on the disease. In one post, Isabella says “Rhea is in charge of taking care of her own skin and she does her job pretty well; she preens herself all day everyday.” She continues to say that Rhea’s skin is already very sensitive, and does not add anything to mess with it, and explains that even if Rhea has no feathers, she shows no self-awareness of the disease as she expresses natural behaviour like other birds.

Unfortunately for Rhea and other avian species affected by the virus, there is no known treatment, but experimental vaccines are being developed. However, this does not stop Rhea from flourishing! Isabella’s social media promotes information on the disease and raises necessary awareness. On her Instagram page you will also find hundreds of posts of Rhea wearing her sweaters sent from friends all over the world, even fan art, and daily posts of what Rhea is up to! Who would have thought that a nudist could be so adorable!

Check out Rhea’s page here