The Bunny and the Warble

A local Wildlife Rehabber gets a call about a paralyzed bunny possibly hit by a car, but the cause was not what she was expecting.

A woman came across a bunny in the road that was apparently injured. The bunny was alive, and the woman thinks it was hit by a car because it appears unable to move. Concerned for the wellbeing of the rabbit, she removes it from the road and takes the rabbit to Maryland wildlife rehabber, Angie Harsh, for help. The rehabber thinks this is going to be a hit-by-a-car case, but she was caught off guard when she sees what is really wrong with the bunny.

The bunny actually has 2 warbles in its skin attached to its spine which is preventing it from moving. A warble, is a botfly larva that can attach itself just beneath the skin of mammals (both wild and domestic) and becomes very irritating to them, sometimes even preventing them from moving, as in the case with this bunny. Ms. Harsh removes the
warbles and to her surprise the bunny immediately jumps out of her arms and runs away, ruining their plan to return the rabbit where it had been found! This is an uncommon story that went from an apparently hurt rabbit to one that just needed some minor care to be back to normal. While this bunny had a happy ending, and ended up not having been hit by a car, it raises the question of what exactly one should do in the case of finding an animal on the road that appears to be hit by a car, or injured in some other way.

According to the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), one shouldn’t assume that just because an animal is laying in the side of the road, that it is dead. The animal may very well be still alive, and unable to move from their injuries, (like the case with this paralyzed bunny.) People are encouraged to stop and carefully assess whether or not the animal is alive. Unless it is an orphaned baby, do not pick the animal up. It is best to call a local animal control or the Wildlife Rescue League helpline to safely get help for the animal. This is the best way to ensure your own safety along with the safety of the animal.

Learn more about how to safely help an injured animal on the roadway.

About the author

Virginia Campbell is 15 years old and is about to begin her sophomore year at St. Stephens & St. Agnes School in Alexandria. Virginia has always loved animals and writing so preparing articles for the Nutley News allows her to combine her passions. She hopes to become an animal-rights writer and a wildlife rehabilitator in the future.

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Wildlife Rescue League - Viriginia
Wildlife Helpline 703-440-0800
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