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Do Wolves Eat Rabbits?

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Wolves are known to hunt and eat all kinds of animals in the wild, including some of the largest prey animals in America. While they have so much to choose from, do they even bother eating small animals like rabbits?

Wolves eat rabbits because they are predatory animals.

Rabbits are extremely fast and have claws which help them defend against prowling wolves. Despite their agility, rabbits still fall prey to wolves in the wild because once caught, they are no match for wolf.

Wolves are known to eat a variety of animals and rabbits are a small but necessary option when other food is scarce.

Rabbits are not the ideal food for some wolves and thankfully rabbits have a few tricks up their fur to protect themselves from wolves.

Wolf pack standing in the woods

Why Do Wolves Eat Rabbits?

Wolves eat rabbits because they are carnivores that eat prey animals, which rabbits are. Rabbits are unable to defend themselves successfully against most wolf attacks because they are so much smaller than wolves.

If a wolf is able to catch the rabbit, it can easily clinch the small animal in its jaws and cause fatal damage.

While rabbits are not a complete meal for most wolves, they are still a viable food option that wolves will eat if available.

How Easy Is It for a Wolf to Catch a Rabbit?

It is not very easy for a wolf to catch a rabbit because rabbits are fast and able to easily detect the presence of predators. They have extremely long ears that allow them to hear wolves before they spot them with their almost 360-degree range of vision.

Rabbits will hop quickly in a zig-zag pattern to escape wolves and other predators. If they can make it back to their burrow, they can hide in the hole to escape being eaten by a wolf.

Do Wolves Eat Baby Rabbits?

Wolves do eat baby rabbits if they are able to find them. Once young rabbits leave the nest or if their nest is uncovered, they are visible as easy prey to hungry wolves.

If a wolf spots young or baby rabbits, it will have no issue eating them as a quick snack. Wolves do not care if a rabbit is young or old, the wolves are just hungry and see all rabbits as potential food.

Are Rabbits Hunted by All Types of Wolves?

Gray wolves are less likely to hunt rabbits because they prefer to hunt larger hooved animals like deer, elk, moose, and caribou. They are a rather large wolf so to them, rabbits are no more than a snack.

Red wolves are smaller on average than gray wolves and they tend to hunt smaller animals including rabbits.

Red wolves prefer smaller food options like rabbits since they are easier for them to catch than elk or moose.

How Do Rabbits Fend Off Wolves?

Rabbits are able to fend off wolves and other predators by digging their sharp claws into the attacking animal. They also have sharp teeth and can bite the wolves in the hope that they are dropped and have a chance to escape.

Rabbits dig their burrows and hide in deep inside them, out of the reach of a wolf’s paws. As long as they are able to get to their hidey hole, they can stay safe for the moment.

Wolves-Eating

15 Other Animals Wolves Prey On

Wolves like to prey on many different animals depending on what is available. For a hungry wolf, meat is meat, it does not matter how big or small it is. Here are some of the most common animals that wolves prey on.

  1. Rodents
  2. Raccoons
  3. Deer
  4. Elk
  5. Moose
  6. Caribou
  7. Snakes
  8. Lizards
  9. Frogs
  10. Fish
  11. Cows
  12. Sheep
  13. Goats
  14. Chickens
  15. Birds

What Other Animals Eat Rabbits?

Rabbits have a lot of natural predators and must always stay vigilant.

Hawks, owls, eagles, coyotes, foxes, bobcats, cougars, mountain lions, snakes, and feral cats are all natural predators of rabbits.

Hunting dogs, domesticated dogs, and domesticated cats can all prey on rabbits as well. Many pet owners find that their own dogs or cats kill and eat wild or even pet rabbits on their property.

It is important to keep rabbits away from your pets, even if you think they will not bother them.

Final Thoughts

Wolves eat rabbits, although it may not be their first choice. While wolves prefer larger prey that will help to feed the whole pack, rabbits are a viable option if larger prey is not available. Rabbits have several natural predators apart from wolves and it is important for them to be on guard at all times.

Resources:

Researching the relationship between wolves and rabbits is an eye-opening experience. Rabbits have a lot to fear and it is a miracle they survive as long as they do. Here are the sources used to research and write this article.

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