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After Waldo woman’s dog massacred bunny family, more babies born and survived her yard

Look out for bunny nests in your yard

Before doing work in your yard or mowing, check the area for bunny nests. This video includes video from Honda, photos from Beth Canipe and royalty free music from Bensound.
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Before doing work in your yard or mowing, check the area for bunny nests. This video includes video from Honda, photos from Beth Canipe and royalty free music from Bensound.

Typically friendly, a Waldo woman’s dog massacred a bunny family recently. But, thanks in part to the prolific procreation rabbits are known for, the woman made a discovery of baby bunnies in her yard after the massacre, four weeks ago. This time around, the baby bunnies survived.

“We were a little more on alert,” Beth Canipe told The Star. “I don’t think I would’ve realized it was a nest (if not for the massacre).”

Mating season for the three rabbit species in Missouri — the eastern cottontail, black-tailed jackrabbit and swamp rabbit — occurs from February through July. When born in their shallow, hidden ground nests, baby bunnies can be difficult to spot. Their nests can appear as little more than a dead patch of grass in an otherwise green yard, or as a dense clump of grass, brush pile or thicket in or around a garden, typically in proximity to shedded rabbit hair. Dogs and other digging animals and yard implements such as lawn mowers pose a threat to baby bunnies during their initial development.

A few tips, from the Missouri Department of Conservation and Vet Street, can increase rabbits’ chances of survival.

▪ If you discover a nest, mark it off with flags or tape to alert others of its presence.

▪ Before yardwork or mowing, check the area for nests.

▪ If you have curious pets or young children, consider temporary plastic fencing or another barrier to put up around a nest to prevent prying fingers and claws.

▪ Removal of woody vegetation in grassland habitats would benefit jackrabbits by opening up vistas.

▪ Avoid the use of non-native plants such as tall fescue.

▪ Loosely wrap young orchard trees with trunk protectors made of plastic, cardboard, paper, aluminum or poultry netting.

▪ Avoid destroying native grassland habitat. Replant native warm-season grasses and herbs following ground-disturbing activities.

Max Londberg: 816-234-4378, @MaxLondberg

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