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This website is devoted to the care and well-being of all rabbits, and focuses on pet rabbits kept as indoor members of the family.

Last site update: Sun Jun 28 21:49:23 EDT 2020

Wild Bunnies

Domestic Bunnies


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Is That Bunny Wild?

What Kind Of Bunny Is That Running Around In My Backyard?

This page is continually under construction
This page is to help those who wonder if the rabbits they see in their yards are wild or domestic (possibly feral, which is a domestic animal living as a wild animal).

"The most common situation in which such groups form is an urban or suburban park or public space where people abandon rabbits. With their high reproductive rate, a single area can produce a large number of feral rabbits (born outside and raised without close human contact) in a very short time. Another contributing factor is the inaccurate but widespread belief that domestic rabbits can be safely "released" in such an area. These ingredients have combined to create unnatural disasters in urban and suburban areas across the country".

© Amy Espie, House Rabbit Society (reprinted with permission)

Where did all these bunnies come from? If you should notice a sudden population of rabbits in your neighborhood (except, of course, in the spring when the new wild babies are running around), you should contact your local police department or animal control officer. Usually when a number of rabbits not indigenous to the area appear, it means that someone nearby was breeding (or hoarding) them and has chosen to release the animals into the wild, comdemning them to an almost certain death.

Hey, a nest of baby bunnies! If you notice a nest of babies in your yard, please mark off the area with stakes and otherwise do not disturb the nest. You may feel compelled to watch for the mother to make sure she's taking care of her offspring, but the mother is watching the nest from a safe place, and will only approach it when she must. Otherwise she will avoid the nest so that she does not attract predators to it. Typically a mother will visit once (maybe twice) within a 24 hour period but it is also possible that it could be up to 48 hours, if she feels any danger. Please do not feed these babies - they must stay wild.

This page is still under construction
Legal disclaimer: the images on this page were mostly found in the public domain, published under the GNU Free Documentation License and we claim no copyright on them. If you should find an image on this page that you feel is your property and has been improperly published on this website, please contact the webmaster and we will remedy the situation and find another example to replace your image (unless you wish to grant us non-exclusive license to use it). We have tried our best to give credit to the images where we were able to determine the originator.

The following lists the classification of domestic rabbits in the animal kingdom:

  • Domain = Eukarya (multicellular; contain mitochondria in their cells)
  • Kingdom = Animalia (multicellular; heterotrophic)
  • Phylum = Chordata
  • Class = Mammalia (fur-bearing; females produce milk; have a diaphragm; middle ear has three bones)
  • Order = Lagomorpha (four incisors in upper jaw; eyes set high on the head; weak but flexible necks)
  • Family = Leporidae (resembling lepus - thick soft fur; large ears; limbs adapted for running)
  • Genus = Oryctolagus (all European rabbits) (for domestic rabbits)
  • Species = Cuniculus (for domestic rabbits)

There are two families of rabbits (Lagomorpha) and one family of Ochotonidae, all considered rabbits - Leporidae (hares and rabbits), and Ochotonidae (pikas). The three families have the following Genus in each:

Family Leporidae: Rabbits and Hares
Please note that domestic rabbits (Oryctolagus) cannot interbreed with any other Genus

Family Ochotonidae: pikas

Family Prolagidae: Sardinian Pika and other related extinct pikas

Genus Oryctolagus - recognized breeds (my not be a complete list)

Examples Of Wild Bunnies

The following images are examples of wild rabbits that you may see in your yard - they are actually jackrabbits and are not only well-equipped to survive in the wild, but they will not thrive in captivity. It is also illegal in most states to keep wildlife as pets. They have been taught survival skills by their mothers (something that is bred out of domestic mothers) and they belong outside. Do not feed them or you risk habituating them to a certain place to find food, which is not only contrary to their wild nature but also a predator may notice and use the location to their advantage. When their lives are at stake, rabbits of any type can be vicious (same with humans), and wild jackrabbits, aka hares, are very well-equipped to handle themselves in the wild. Please do not attempt to rescue one unless it appears injured.

NOTE: Wild rabbits and domestic rabbits cannot interbreed - they are two different species.

In this section, you will find a variety of images of wild rabbits. If you really want to see a lot of images, you can issue this google query: rabbits&oe=utf-8



©WL Miller - NPS Photo

Examples Of Domestic Bunnies

NOTE: Domestic rabbits are not equipped to survive in the wild and they need your help.
For a very thorough and informative page of all of the ARBA-recognized breeds of domestic rabbit including images, please visit:

The following images are just some examples of abandoned (possibly feral) domestic rabbits that you may see in your yard - they were actually someone's pet or otherwise in the possession of humans before being released. These animals have no survival skills and their average life expectancy after being set loose is three days. These animals need your help!! They may have been abandoned for long enough that they have become feral, which means they won't trust humans (after all, humans are the ones that abandoned them) but they are not wild. They are very scared, of everything. They need your help. Besides trying to entice it to come close enough to capture (which may be unsuccessful), you should call the police and ask for the animal control officer, and explain the situation. They know what they're doing and how to do it, with all kinds of animals. You may also want to ask what the fate of the rabbit might be, and insist that it be taken to a no-kill shelter or rescue. Otherwise they'll get the same ten days that all the other animals get before they go behind that locked steel door. And you never want to look at what's behind that door. All of us who have seen it wish we hadn't seen it.

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A Buck for the Bunnies
Last update: Sun Jun 28 21:49:23 EDT 2020