The Adorable Mr. Awesome!

Mr. Awesome the Adorable Cottontail Baby Rabbit

He’s made it all the way! Here’s Mr. Awesome, all fluffy and furred and happily munching down some mighty tasty weeds. I can’t thank wildlife rehabber Rebekah Weiss enough for her expert and dedicated care that’s led to this happy success.

In my (admittedly) biased opinion, he’s still the cutest little cottontail baby bunny we’ve ever seen, although his adopted littermates are totally adorable too.

Mr. Awesome and siblings, one adorable Cottontail Baby Rabbit Family

Here’s the blended family, including Mr. Awesome and his adopted siblings, all the same age and all raised by Beka at Aves Wildlife Alliance wildlife hospital. Mr. A’s two little baby bunny siblings were rescued and brought to Aves the same week as Mr. Awesome, and are the same age. So, Beka raised them together as a bunny family. Boy, don’t they look happy and healthy?

I can’t stop grinning.

Mr. Awesome's siblings, adorable Cottontail Baby Bunny Rabbits

Here’s one more shot of the sibs.

The photos, btw, were all taken at Aves by Jill Wilke, and are shared here by permission (copyright © 2010 Jill Wilke). Thank you, Jill, for letting us use them. We really appreciate it!

Mr. Awesome and his sibs will released shortly to a three acre site that is a pesticide free zone (no nasty lawn chemicals). They are all about 200 grams each, and, as you can see, doing really well.

If you’d like to help out Aves Wildlife Center, you can contact them through their site. Donations are welcome and used to cover the expenses of caring for orphaned and injured wildlife of all kinds. Go on — skip the lattes for a month and help raise a baby rabbit or rehabilitate a redtail hawk that survived a too-close encounter with a car. Every penny helps!

And again, thank you Beka. The work you do is, well, awesome!

Saving Mr. Awesome

Mr. Awsome The World's Cutest Cottontail Baby Bunny

Meet the most awesome, the cutest and the tiniest cottontail bunny we’ve ever seen: Mr. Awesome, aka “Spunky.”

And how did we make his acquaintance?

Ah, now therein lies a tale, Oh Best Beloved.

Last week a neighbor’s cocker spaniel found a bunny’s nest in their yard. Being a fairly typical dog, said pup “squeaked” some of the other babies, but for some reason known only to her carried this one around in her mouth for almost half an hour without chomping on it, as Baby Rabbit squealed for help throughout. The owner was able to get the bunny away from the dog and gave it to me.

He was so little–just three days old–that his ears were barely half an inch long. As soon as I had him in my hands he just snuggled in, and went right to sleep. He was so small he fit in the palm of one hand. And so soft!

We made a place for him as close to the nest as we could but still safe from the dog. Momma bunnies will search for the little ones when their nest has been disturbed, and it’s best if a baby bun is reunited with its Momma. Unfortunately, after 24 hours Momma hadn’t found and reclaimed little Spunky, so we took him to the Aves Wildlife Alliance, a brand new licensed wildlife hospital located in Neenah, Wisconsin. It’s a wonderful place! The owner, Rebekah Weiss, who has a degree in wildlife ecology and wildlife management, worked for several years as a state and federally licensed wildlife rehabilitator near Milwaukee. Just this June, she opened the new Aves wildlife hospital near the Fox Cities on the grounds of a farm that’s been in her family for five generations, after moving back to the area with her husband, Dave. As of this week, Rebekah has already had over 130 patients.

Rebekah even had baby bunny formula right on hand! Wow. Baby cottontails are super hard to keep alive, from what I’ve read, and she confirmed it. Rebekah told us that Spunky is doing awesome now, and thinks he has as good a chance as possible.

Rebekah accepts all varieties of injured and truly orphaned wild critters in the Aves Wildlife Alliance hospital, except bats, deer, eagles. Just some of the wildlife I remember her mentioning that have come in as patients include chipmunks, bunnies, squirrels, possums, deer mice, owls, redtail hawks, and downy woodpeckers. You’re not allowed to see her patients or touch them, because, of course, they are wild and human contact stresses the critters, endangering their recovery.

It was super neat to see the clinic, and meet Rebekah and Dave. We’re really hoping Mr. Awesome makes it. He is an adorable little guy, and put up a real fight to survive (which is why we’ve nicknamed him “Spunky.”)

In Wisconsin, licensed wildlife rehabilitators like Rebekah may not charge for their services, so all her funding comes from donations and grants. If you’d like to help the Aves Wildlife Alliance out, donations are welcome. You can help ‘em get more baby bunny formula as well as cover the myriad of other expenses involved in running a wildlife hospital. Contact information is on the Aves Wildlife Alliance website (which is a new work in progress — it’ll have more information in the future).

BTW, the hand holding Mr. Awesome in the photo belongs to Michael. Spunky certainly felt right at home snoozing there!