Backyard nature: A child's first encounter with a baby bunny

A baby cottontail rabbit
Kristin Schwarze and her 4-year-old daughter Clare found this baby cottontail rabbit last weekend that was hiding in their fence and garage.
Courtesy of Kristin Schwarze

Kristin Schwarze and her 4-year-old daughter, Clare, have spent most of their time indoors or in their Shoreview yard since the coronavirus pandemic hit Minnesota.

“We’re pretty good at staying at home,” Schwarze said, laughing.

But their family isolation was interrupted over the weekend when they found a baby cottontail rabbit.

“[We] had a lot of adventures with it,” she said. “It wasn't very afraid of us and hung out pretty close to where we were raking.”

A baby cottontail rabbit
A baby cottontail rabbit was found around Schwarze's Shoreview house last weekend.
Courtesy of Kristin Schwarze

It hid in their fence and in their garage — Schwarze and her husband had to put on work gloves to get it out.

“Then it ran into a window well for an egress window,” Schwarze said.

“We had to rescue it out of there because it’s pretty deep and it could not have climbed out.”

While a bit of a nuisance at times, it gave Clare a chance to see a baby bunny up close. (I tried getting Clare on the phone to answer questions, but only heard her replies of “No!” to her mother.)

But according to her mom, Clare liked seeing the fluffy critter.

“She was pretty hands off which we were thankful for,” Schwarze said. “She doesn’t want to pet them or hold them, which is good.”

Seeing animals in the yard or while out in Shoreview isn’t new for the Schwarzes, but being homebound amid the COVID-19 outbreak has given outside life new meaning.

“I think we're very attuned to any life outside the house,” Schwarze said. “We've been noticing all of the birds more and noticing our neighbors walk by more. We're just definitely more in tune with our neighborhood since we haven't been leaving our yard very often.”

Cottontail rabbits can be found across Minnesota.
Cottontail rabbits can be found across Minnesota.
Jiwon Choi | MPR News

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