I have had a cottontail rabbit since he was 2 weeks old. My dog had found the nest and killed all of them except him because I got to him in time. He is now 9 months old.

I was wondering - would he be alright to be released back to the wild? I have had him around my other pets and he is not afraid of them, can that be a problem for him?


If you release your cottontail into the wild, he will be dead quite soon.

Rabbits are prey animals, and yours is not afraid of predators. Not Good. With the lack of learning how to rabbit in the wild, nothing good comes from releasing your cottontail back into the wild.

If you no longer want to care for this cottontail, may I suggest you try and find some else who is looking for a pet rabbit? Do try to assess the next care giver. Some one with experience with rabbits is preferred, as yours is not fully domesticated.

Well done on raising a cottontail & good luck with finding him a good home!

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    This is not a good answer, it ignores the fact that the animal in question is a wild animal, with a natural life span of 2 years for those who survive in to adulthood, of which most don't. Your answer is better suited to the question Can I release my pet rabbit in the wild? Dec 4 '17 at 22:33
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    @JamesJenkins, you are right, I forgot about the possible local laws. Dec 5 '17 at 8:30
  • glad you see that now :) After I posted the comment, I thought about how I should have pointed out the answer is the same if the OP was asking about a whitetail deer, grizzly bear, alligator or a cottontail rabbit. Personally I think you should delete the answer, but I see it has gained some upvote, and the choice about keeping it is yours and the communities. Dec 5 '17 at 13:34
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    Let's see if OP can tell us where it is she lives. If it is any that I have some familiarly with, will update. If it is US, then this answer is void and yours should do. Dec 5 '17 at 13:44

Depending on where you live it may be against the law for you to keep a wild animal as a pet. There are more considerations at the post Can I make a baby wild rabbit a pet?

The best first step is to contact a local wildlife animal rescue. They can answer questions about local laws, and release protocals. You may be able to surrender the cottontail to them, for training and release.

Alternately: (ignoring legal issues) Releasing a wild animal near the physical location and time that you found it is always best. But there are several reasons this may not be possible. Describing the considerations for alternate release would be out of scope for a site about pets. If the local wildlife rescue is not able to help you, I suggest you ask at one of our sister sites Biology or The Great Outdoors

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