What Eats Rabbits In the Food Chain? (Rabbit Predators In the Wild)

Disclaimer: The information presented below is for general informational & educational purposes only. Always consult with animal professionals in case of specific concerns.

Rabbits appear to be a favorite menu item of many predatory creatures.

Any carnivorous cat will gladly kill and eat a rabbit when there’s a chance.

Aside from the ability to hide and run quickly, rabbits don’t have any defensive tactics, making them susceptible to faster, robust, and sizable predators.

So, what eats rabbits in the wild?

What are rabbit predators?

Let’s take a look at them.

What Eats Rabbits?

Rabbits are one of the most broadly hunted creatures, meaning they are the prey of many predators, such as fox, wolf, bear, stoat, dog, snake, lynx, dingo, owl, raccoon, etc.

Fox

foxes

Bunnies are the most well-liked food of foxes. Nothing can beat a bunny when it comes to a delicious, perfect meal for a fox.

If you have bunnies in your house and many foxes in your neighborhood, you need to prepare a fox-proof cabinet to protect your pets.

A hutch often uses durable, robust wood as a material and has a dense wire mesh. Before purchasing a hut, remember to double-check the product to ensure it can provide your pets with good protection from foxes.

Wolf

It’s no surprise wolves eat various animals since they’re carnivores. Typically, a wolf can eat around 20 pounds of meat a day.

While they primarily feast on small mammals, large or small ungulates (gray wolves), rabbits also provoke their predation.

They usually consume rabbit as a side dish beside the main dish. But rabbits can be their primary dish during food deprivation when there are no large animals available.

In Minnesota, white-tailed deers and rabbits are the primary meat sources for wolves.

Coyote

One unique thing about this animal is that it can be either a hunter or scavenger, so it is not too picky about food. A coyote can eat whatever it can get.

Do coyotes eat rabbits? Many people think coyotes are carnivores, but they are omnivores. Their diet includes small mammals, such as rodents or rabbits.

Although they don’t rely on bunnies as the primary meat source since they eat bunnies only if they encounter them, bunnies are still on their menu.

Coyotes predominantly inhabit deserts, mountains, forests, and plains in Central America, Mexico, and Canada. They are present in tropical regions, too.

People usually find them solitary creatures, yet they can be scary hunters once in the mood to hunt.

Bear

A bear’s diet is diverse and includes various plants and animals. It can eat nearly anything, from ants and honey to vegetation, deer, and even people!

This creature’s food consumption depends on the season and species.

For example, polar bears are more into seafood, and rabbits don’t inhabit arctic regions, so they rarely search for a rabbit. Instead, they look for medium or small-sized mammals to eat.

Besides, Grizzly bears, famous for their aggressive behaviors toward humans, will munch on everything found in their territory. They prefer fish and the flesh of small mammals like bunnies.

Stoat

Stoats are family members of badgers who can and like to eat rabbits. They sometimes even use a trick to fool a rabbit and kill it.

The diversion strategy occurs like this: One stoat tries to do something noticeable or strange and attract a bunny’s attention, while another catches the distracted prey.

Dog

Domestic dogs all around the world are probably the prime culprit of decreases in the rabbit population. There are even some dog breeds specifically born to hunt and kill bunnies.

Some of the most common predatory dogs that chase bunnies are:

  • Weimaraners
  • Fox Terriers
  • Redbone Coonhounds
  • Basset Hounds
  • Beagles

If you let these dog species around your rabbits, the dogs can scare and stress out the vulnerable mammals even when you keep them separated.

It would be best to keep both animals in a place without harming the weaker one to find the dog breeds compatible with bunnies.

Breeds that can live peacefully with a rabbit hutch include Collies, Golden Retrievers, and Labradors.

However, it’s never a clever idea to leave a dog and rabbit alone without supervision. Dogs can act cheekily sometimes and may take the chance to eat the rabbit whenever possible.

We used to raise a rabbit and Labrador together and didn’t keep them in the same hutch but via the metal wire. They acted peacefully toward each other.

It heavily depends on each dog breed’s upbringing and nature, so it’s better not to take risks.

The best idea is to introduce a dog to a rabbit right when it’s still a tiny puppy. Growing up together will help the two animals get on and live peacefully.

Don’t forget about other dogs in your neighborhood. Ensure to build a robust dog-proof hutch for your pets just in case some naughty animals try to break in.

Big Cat

Cats may look gentle, but they are hunters that a bunny must be afraid of. Notably, you need to give your bunnies extra care if large cats are around.

A young bunny appears pretty similar to a mouse during the initial stage of life, making it an attractive meal for cats.

Like dogs, cats are domestic animals, so they can be everywhere. Thus, don’t forget to watch out for other cats in your neighborhood.

The worry can be less when your pets grow up in size since cats just sit and stare from a distance without daring to come close.

Snake

Snakes are the fear of many creatures, including humans, since they will attack and eat anything moving in their sight. Their diet depends heavily on their physical conditions.

For example, snake species, like the anaconda, boa, and python, can effortlessly munch on a bunny.

However, rattlesnakes, viper, mamba, and cobra species may struggle to eat a bunny since they were born with small mouths.

While smaller species engulf one using their independent mandibles (lower and upper jawbones), larger species can engulf the prey as a whole.

Lynx

Lynxes, also called bobcats, are medium-sized carnivores, dominantly inhabiting Canada, Southern Washington, and Alaska. Coniferous forests, swamps, bogs, and rocky areas are their most favorable living places.

75% of a lynx’s diet is Snowshoe rabbits. Since they mostly inhabit Northern regions where they don’t have many chances to hunt, they feast on whatever is available, which is Snowshoe bunnies.

Dingo

Dingo

This wild dog species originates from Australia and is a sneaky, opportunity carnivore whose stable food source is rabbits.

Dingoes thrive best in rocky terrain, grasslands, and woodlands since they can find small prey, including bunnies, in more abundance there.

They usually form large groups for hunting in bulk, but if it is a bunny, the game is easy enough for a single dingo.

Birds Of Prey

Predatory birds are not a big problem in large towns and cities, yet you’ll need to be cautious if you live in a rural area.

What birds eat rabbits? Like eagles or hawks, Aggressive birds search for bunnies to fill their stomachs, and they are good at searching.

If your pets are free-range, ascertain to cover your yard carefully with predator-proof materials. Prepare different hiding corners for them, too.

Notably, if predatory birds are a severe issue in your area, always keep your pets in places with a rooftop.

Owl

A surprising answer to ‘what animals eat rabbits?’ is the owl. Indeed, owls eat small mammals and hunt them with a unique method.

They sit silently in a high, advantageous spot and wait for an extended time until an unfortunate prey passes their vision scope.

Once a bunny runs by, the bird will grab and attack it using its sharp talons and fly back to the branches.

Raccoon

Though raccoons predominantly munch on plants, they can intake meat if there’s any source available. They are opportunistic and omnivorous predators.

The notable thing is that they are more fond of slow-moving animals, which is why bunny mammals don’t account for a large proportion of a raccoon’s diet – such a blessing for the fast-moving animal!

Lizard

A reptile’s food range is very diverse, and so is the lizard. This species can consume anything appearing around it; bunnies are no exception.

Larger species can eat a rabbit or even small deer easily, while medium-sized lizards, like the Monitor species, need a longer time to finish a bunny.

Humans

The last predator on this list is humans, particularly children. Though there’s no likelihood they will eat a bunny, they can pose dangers to it in other ways.

For example, they can pick a rabbit up and drop or throw it far away, which will hurt the animal awfully after many repetitions.

Naughty kids sometimes throw things at a bunny or hit it just for fun. Thus, teach your kids to love animals before letting them play around with any pets.

Conclusion

After going through the list of what eats rabbits, we know that life will be hard and tiring if you are a rabbit.

With so many enemies in the wild and family, the mothers give birth a lot hoping that some can survive.

If you intend to keep bunnies as pets in your house, it’s necessary to research some methods to shield them from hungry predators.