Last week - while walking - I saw this little rabbit on the road. I slowed down so that he wouldn't hop away while I got out the camera...but he allowed me to get closer and closer - finally I realized that something was wrong with the poor little guy and he couldn't hop away. So I took a quick picture and walked on.
Of course it worried me terribly. I hate to see an animal suffer but didn't know what to do about this guy. I wondered if it was sick (I saw no blood) or if it had been hit by a car or even dropped from the sky by a hawk! All the way on my walk I wondered what I should do - should I try to snap it's neck somehow to put it out of it's misery? and for heavens sake - how would I do that? The thought made me ill but I was determined to do something. I worried that it had a broken leg and would lie there suffering or would get picked at by dogs or birds - yikes.
I walked back and was steeling myself the whole way there. Luckily for me - when I got to it...it was already dead. It was stretched out on it's side..not breathing...not moving. I nudged it with my foot and it didn't move. To be honest - I was very grateful as I really had no idea of what I should do with the poor little thing. I had thought of a shovel and a blow to the head. I had thought of getting my car and rolling over it. I had thought (gulp) of a step on the head. As you can tell, I was getting a bit stressed over this. Thank you Mother Nature for taking care of the problem.
Of course I got to thinking about animals and our responsibility to them as humans. It's easy with pets - we are supposed to care for them, and they are dependent on us. Our responsibilities are clear and well defined. With a wild animal - there are no guidelines aside from leave them as alone as possible, be a responsible human, etc etc.
We once had a raccoon in our yard that was acting very strangely - it was during the day and it was walking around, then taking a nap in the yard - way way odd behavior. This was at a time when rabies was rampant in the raccoon population. I called an old neighbor who came over and shot it (our town was much more rural 20 years ago) but then it was up to me to bury it and clean up the area. I dug a hole and using the shovel - put the raccoon body way deep in the ground, covered it with a metal grate and put back about a ton of dirt. Then - to be safe as rabies is so infectious - I BLEACHED my yard where ever the animal had been. Hey...rabies can be carried by saliva and I wanted no part of the rabies treatment.
So - those are my stories about my interaction with a wild raccoon and a wild rabbit - both ill or hurt and needing some kind of human interaction.
What would you have done??? I'm really interested......
"Happy" Animal Wednesday? Sometimes it's not so easy is it?