We are reading Watership Down which I have found has many very accurate descriptions of rabbit behavior. The book characters are mostly anthropomorphised rabbits. The head rabbit of the Efrafa warren, General Woundwort talks often about other rabbits he has killed.

Normally you don't think of rabbits with behavior that aggressive.

Blackavar is rabbit who tries to escape from Efrafa but is apprehended & mutilated. His ears are torn to shreds.

Yesterday I attended an event where a rabbit named Avari was attending (Petco Addoption event), in the picture below you can see his ears have mostly been chewed away, his eyelashes are gone, and his nose is injured. A few months ago he was rescued from a hoarding sitiuation much like Efrafa. ~70 rabbits were being held together in a small out building. He was mutilated by other rabbits.

We can see that rabbits will fight until mutilation occurs. Will they also fight each other to the death?

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Note: The story of Avari is true. He is currently recoverd from his injuries and available for adoption

  • Poor bunny ... must be territorial, survival of the fittest, rights to reproduce etc
    – user6796
    Commented May 23, 2018 at 12:59
  • My male rabbit who is usually very tender has torn flesh off my new male bunnies nose and last night he was ravenous and jumped out of his exercise pen and chewed an inch off the new bunnies ear. At this point I'm sure they won't bond and I don't know what to do. :/ Commented Aug 29, 2018 at 18:27

1 Answer 1


Like you yourself describe, the Efrafa warren and the hoarding situation are no healthy rabbit communities. General Woundworth was battered himself as a little rabbit, so one could assume his daily behavior is disturbed by this events.

Under normal conditions, like enough room and normal rabbit behavior, rabbits do not fight until death.

But if they are extremely stressed, for example if they are compressed with a lot of others, they can act "not normal".

Imagine you, living with 10 other people in a little space like a garage. Maybe the door is open but wired, maybe it is closed. You have to sleep in this room, you have to eat in this room, you have to relieve yourself in this room. There will build aggression and there are a lot of movies or books showing how one of this people go crazy and harm the others...

Rabbits will not fight with the aim to kill. They would solve the problems before: for example in make the warren bigger (what Woundworth forbid) or getting away and plant a new warren (what Woundworth forbid also).

For mother nature killing and not eating is wasting. Wasting live. So it would be the very last solution for a problem in nature. To avoid it there are fights for a rank in the group. If this order is in place, there must not be battles for "daily" problems.

So my conclusion is: No, if they have room and show healthy behavior, they will not kill each other.

  • Thank you, this is mostly a good answer, but I can tell you from experience that rabbits will go looking for a fight, They will fight with each other through a fence. Commented May 7, 2019 at 12:08
  • Yes, they defeat their territory. If you has the place to do so, you should left them space between different enclosures. Warrens have a big non-territory area between, so if rabbits from different warrens have contact, one enters the territory from the other, foreign defeat, stranger run away... (Or both of them are strangers in the non-territory area, which you use, if you want to socialize two new rabbits with each other in a for both unfamiliar room) Commented May 7, 2019 at 15:41
  • 1
    Oh: and looking for a fight is not fight to death ;) especially half grown boys I have been told are searching for trouble with fun Commented May 7, 2019 at 15:46

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