Well on our way to Wal Mart this evening, in the 93 degree heat out in the middle of a busy road was a baby rabbit, barely moving, half heartedly trying to get out of the way of traffic. Hubby quickly turned around, I jumped out of the car to see the bunny while hubby blocked traffic with the car. He didn't appear to be hurt, except for a small amount of blood on his back foot. As I approached him he laid very still just until I reached down to get him and then he limped off onto the shoulder of the road. I yelled for hubby to grab a towel in the car which I softly put over the rabbit and scooped him up, brought him home and now he is in my basement in a wire hutch with water and a variety of flowers/vegetables to eat and a bowl of water.... I am thinking he may have gotten in the road, wasn't exactly "hit" by a car but perhaps scattered around amongst traffic, scraped himself up pretty good and laid there dazed in the heat. He was panting and breathing so hard as if he was heat exhausted. He is old enough to be without his mother, I would guess 6-8 weeks and I am SO hoping he shows signs of improvement in a few days and all will be well with him.
I am so torn on this little rabbit. I read several wildlife rehab sites online and spoke to one(rather cold hearted) wildlife expert this morning and most of what I hear, claims that baby rabbits have a very high stress level, and most rabbits brought in for rehab will not make it, because of stress. She said he would no doubt be someones lunch or dinner if I let him go, but that's the way it is in nature. Well of course I understand natural selection and the survival of the fittest, etc., but I just don't know if I can let him go knowing full well he won't make it with his hurt paw. Right now he is eating well and drinking water, and seemingly "unstressed". Plus we are supposed to get strong storms this afternoon and evening, with hail and heavy winds so the thought of him out in that kills me. Please everyone give me your thoughts.... I am thinking that if by morning, if he is still surviving, his paw will be that much more healed, and the storms will be over. He will havea full stomach and over his heat exhaustion, so at that time I will let him go in an area that has no dogs, no cats and no people, some shelter, water and greens to eat. I am so torn. 3 days before the big party and I have a list a mile long of things to do but all I can think of is whether or not I am doing the right thing. Any advice PLEASE!