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What got my rabbit? *graphic*

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What got my rabbit? *graphic*

Post Number:#1  Unread postby powellanimals » Sat Feb 27, 2016 10:50 am


So I went out to the outside hutch today and found one of my Lionheads dead. After looking through the cages I realized the predator must have gotten through a two by six inch hole at the top where the roof connects to the hutch. I had never really given that hole a second thought or noticed it. Whatever did it would have had to climb about 5 feet to the top and then get in a hole that size. What was it? The hole has immediately been closed of course.

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Re: What got my rabbit? *graphic*

Post Number:#2  Unread postby Preitler » Sat Feb 27, 2016 11:16 am


I would say marten, or something like that.
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Re: What got my rabbit? *graphic*

Post Number:#3  Unread postby MaggieJ » Sat Feb 27, 2016 1:53 pm


I agree, some member of the weasel family is most likely. A 2"x 6" hole is likely big enough for a pine marten and certainly big enough for a mink or weasel. Pine martens climb more than the others, but it could be any of them.

Any tracks in the snow or mud around the rabbitry?

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Re: What got my rabbit? *graphic*

Post Number:#4  Unread postby SoDak Thriver » Sat Feb 27, 2016 2:29 pm


I can't tell from the pics. Did it eat any of the rabbit, or does it look strictly like a sport kill? You're in PA, so I doubt it's a marten of any kind, but more likely a weasel or, if you're near an urban center, someone's escaped pet ferret. A rat could also squeeze through that opening.

Sucks either way, Powell. :angry:
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Re: What got my rabbit? *graphic*

Post Number:#5  Unread postby Deer Heart » Sat Feb 27, 2016 3:51 pm


SoDak Thriver wrote:I can't tell from the pics. Did it eat any of the rabbit, or does it look strictly like a sport kill? You're in PA, so I doubt it's a marten of any kind, but more likely a weasel or, if you're near an urban center, someone's escaped pet ferret. A rat could also squeeze through that opening.

Sucks either way, Powell. :angry:


There's no chance it was a pet ferret. They're so incredibly domesticated that they die if they escape and aren't found within a day or 2. They don't recognize anything but their pellets as actual food and some will even starve to death if you suddenly change said food without properly showing them that it is indeed food. At least the ones in america are, almost all of them are from Marshalls. There simply is zero documented proof of any escaped domestic ferret ever having hunted and killed livestock anywhere. There's a lot of finger pointing but when the body of the predator was actually examined by anyone who knew the difference it was always some other member of the mustelid family. (Here's some good info on domesticated ferrets if you're ever bored/curious; http://www.cypresskeep.com/Ferretfiles/Myths-FUSA.htm )

Having said that though, it is likely something else from that family. Better set traps!
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Re: What got my rabbit? *graphic*

Post Number:#6  Unread postby SoDak Thriver » Sat Feb 27, 2016 4:29 pm


I used to live near Pittsburgh (years ago when ferrets were a fad pet) and there were ferret invasions on farms where abandoned, starving ferrets attempted to get at feed pellets. There truly was no instance of livestock being hunted; I assumed that ferrets would defend themselves against a rabbit to get the feed pellets, but you're correct that they're way too domesticated to hunt live food. I apologize for this red herring.

It is likely a rat or weasel. Big snap traps baited with peanut butter. :twisted:
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Re: What got my rabbit? *graphic*

Post Number:#7  Unread postby Deer Heart » Sat Feb 27, 2016 4:59 pm


SoDak Thriver wrote:I used to live near Pittsburgh (years ago when ferrets were a fad pet) and there were ferret invasions on farms where abandoned, starving ferrets attempted to get at feed pellets. There truly was no instance of livestock being hunted; I assumed that ferrets would defend themselves against a rabbit to get the feed pellets, but you're correct that they're way too domesticated to hunt live food. I apologize for this red herring.

It is likely a rat or weasel. Big snap traps baited with peanut butter. :twisted:


Sorry if I seemed a tad harsh there. I've had many ferrets in my life and unfortunately the thought of them attacking livestock and wildlife (neither of which they have ever proven themselves even capable of unless you're irresponsibly housing a ferret with a smaller pet like a mouse or baby chicks) is what got them unjustly banned in some places. An escaped ferret is more likely to become food for wildlife vs eating said wildlife. Unlike cats, which will absolutely kill both wildlife and certain livestock, which aren't banned anywhere that I know of. The way laws work sometimes man.
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Re: What got my rabbit? *graphic*

Post Number:#8  Unread postby powellanimals » Mon Feb 29, 2016 9:11 pm


SoDak Thriver wrote:I can't tell from the pics. Did it eat any of the rabbit, or does it look strictly like a sport kill? You're in PA, so I doubt it's a marten of any kind, but more likely a weasel or, if you're near an urban center, someone's escaped pet ferret. A rat could also squeeze through that opening.

Sucks either way, Powell. :angry:


It looks like part of the neck was eaten. I'm going through and closing up any holes that I can see. Good to know.
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Re: What got my rabbit? *graphic*

Post Number:#9  Unread postby Truckinguy » Tue Mar 01, 2016 8:29 am


Due to my recent experience with the mink I would say it was a mink but that's just me. If it was just killed and not eaten that would also make it more likely. I've closed up gaps like that in my rabbitry so we'll see how things go with any subsequent litters.

Sorry about your rabbit.

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