In the spirit of Easter coming up this Sunday, our patients of the week are these Desert Cottontails. This species is the most common species of rabbit found in the Sonoran Desert. Other closely related species include Black-tailed Jackrabbits and Antelope Jackrabbits. Jackrabbits are often confused with cottontails especially at young ages as the differences are harder to tell. Desert Cottontails are much smaller in body and ear size but more social than Jackrabbits.
Tucson Wildlife Center receives cottontails like these patients frequently for reasons from their homes being cleared for construction to attacks by pets and predators. Desert Cottontails leave their holes very early in life as they begin to explore at around three weeks old. If you see a cottontail with its eyes open, ears standing up, and approximately five inches long, they are most likely healthy and self-sufficient. Feel free to call or read here.
In regard to these cute cottontails, they have been doing great in rehabilitation and will soon be ready to be back out in the wild to run, hop, and leave easter eggs wherever they please. Happy Easter!
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