Spring has sprung! Please help us welcome baby Cotton Tailed Rabbits to The Texas Zoo. These kits, or baby rabbits, joined our animal collection when they needed rescue after their burrow was flooded in early March. Rabbits are prolific breeders and easily adapt to many different types of terrain. The Cotton Tailed Rabbit, is a Texas native species of rabbit and can also be found in grasslands, woodlands, swamps, throughout North America, Central America and South America.
As herbivores, their diet consists of all different types of plants including wild grasses, bark, sprouts, fruits and flowers. Rabbits reach adulthood at about 3 months of age and have a lifespan between 1-2 years in the wild, but may live longer in managed care. Rabbits fall prey to a variety of predators and must be constantly vigilant to stay safe. While eating they will sit on their hind limbs using their front limbs to hold their food and turning their large, satellite like ears to listen for danger. Rabbits are a social species living in burrows underground. For added safety they group their burrows together in what is called a warren, which helps maintain safety in numbers.
Believe it or not, rabbits closest relatives are not mice and rats. Rabbits are of the order lagomorpha, making their closest relatives hares and pikas not mice or rats who are of the order rodentia. Rats and mice have 2 upper incisor teeth while rabbits have 4 incisor teeth.
Once these rabbits have finished their socialization training, they will become animal ambassadors to help educate about their species.