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      Witness to a bunny committing suicide in the BWCA :(     

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tumblehome
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04/12/2021 07:07AM  
I was in the BWCA this weekend on Gabbro.

I was standing near the shore at camp on a rock out-cropping looking out over the ice. I had been standing there for maybe 10 minutes, almost motionless and by myself.

I heard a splash about 40’ to my left and saw what I thought was a beaver swimming between shore and the ice still on the lake which was about 30’ from the shoreline. The ‘beaver’ jumped out of the water can climbed onto the ice. It was a bunny.

The Bunny proceeded to run and hop for several hundred yards towards a nearby island. It took about 2 minutes for it to make it to the island. I was quite anxious seeing this wet bunny perform this act. As it approached the island, it decided not to go onto the land but instead kept hopping and went back out on the ice sheet towards the middle of the lake.

It hopped and ran until the ice ended and there was once again open water. It jumped back in and swam for a few moments then it crawled back on the ice and sat on the edge of the ice for about 10 minutes. I am now very concerned for this bunny and I also know I can’t do anything for it.

Sure enough, after a short time a bald eagle appears and dives down to catch the bunny.
The bunny runs like hell to and fro trying to escape the eagle and the eagle can’t catch it. The bunny jumps back in the water and the eagle, appearing like a helicopter hovers over the bunny flapping its wings with its talons pointing straight down trying to catch the bunny. Flapping and hovering, it keeps trying but then after a short time it flies up unto a tree without the bunny. The bunny had gone under and drowned.

The bunny died and the eagle did not get fed and after about 15 minutes, the eagle flew away. This was a sad and disturbing event and I am telling you only because it was crazy to see.

Tom
 
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04/12/2021 07:21AM  
Sounds like the tv animal/nature shows that used to upset my grandchildren.
 
04/12/2021 08:57AM  
I have read of pack animals in Alaska just walking off the trail and plunging into the canyon just off the trail. If memory serves, the reports come from the White Pass during the gold rush of the late 1900's
 
Unas10
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04/12/2021 10:14AM  
It is funny, or should I say interesting, what we empathize with. We drive down the road slaughtering untold thousands of insects without a second thought, yet we feel bad for the bunny. The eagle might have missed out, but the turtles and crawfish will have lunch.
 
Canoearoo
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04/12/2021 10:28AM  
I wouldn't call that suicide. But rather died in the act of attempting self preservation.
 
inspector13
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04/12/2021 11:47AM  
Canoearoo: "I wouldn't call that suicide. But rather died in the act of attempting self preservation. "
Me too. Plus, limited perspective and anthropomorphism.

 
tumblehome
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04/12/2021 12:05PM  
Canoearoo: "I wouldn't call that suicide. But rather died in the act of attempting self preservation. "

Why the bunny left land and jump in 33’ water only to run on ice is why I called it suicide. But there are many perspectives on how this can be seen.

I agree that it is odd I feel loss for a bunny but I ate chicken for dinner that night.
Like most human’s it is often difficult to watch animals in the wild die.

Tom
 
Canoearoo
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04/12/2021 12:58PM  
Animals don't commit suicide. There were probably factors you couldn't see. But no animal goes to waste in nature.

But it is a neat story. I once watch a mother loon take on a bear and the loon won.
 
straighthairedcurly
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04/12/2021 01:28PM  
Wow, quite the saga to witness.
 
Unas10
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04/12/2021 04:02PM  
tumblehome: "Canoearoo: "I wouldn't call that suicide. But rather died in the act of attempting self preservation. "


Why the bunny left land and jump in 33’ water only to run on ice is why I called it suicide. But there are many perspectives on how this can be seen.


I agree that it is odd I feel loss for a bunny but I ate chicken for dinner that night.
Like most human’s it is often difficult to watch animals in the wild die.


Tom"


I have shot animals for food and fur. I have also shot animals on the farm to euthanize them. Two very different yet very similar feelings.
 
BearBurrito
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04/12/2021 04:42PM  
Very cool thing to witness.
 
R1verrunner
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04/12/2021 04:44PM  
Nothing to be sad or upset about.
Just a fact of life.
 
RunningFox
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04/12/2021 06:03PM  
R1verrunner: "Nothing to be sad or upset about.
Just a fact of life."


It’s the blight we were born for,
It’s we that we morn for

I once heard a terrible cry that turned out to be two loons whose nest had just been robbed by an eagle. Ranks as one of the worst sound I’ve ever heard. I consider myself fortunate in this regard.
 
04/13/2021 09:37AM  
Being upset about the death of an animal can take many forms, and can happen sometimes very unexpectedly. Having been shepherds for 30 years, we have often experienced the death of lambs and the occasional ewe. My husband traps pesky animals like raccoons who decimate our garden, and disposes of them. We have buried many pets that we loved. Usually I am not squeamish.

But I will never forget an experience that we had the first year that we took our granddaughter to the canoe country. We were staying at the Little Ollie Cabin at Poplar Creek and we went hiking on the Banadad Trail, and then onto the portage from Poplar to Swamp (she was four years old and she wanted to hike on a "real" portage.) Anna was very tender hearted anyway, and this particular year had been very difficult for her emotionally from some disappointments experienced just before we left on our trip.

She was skipping happily on the portage trail on a June day with a light drizzle. I can still see her in her little pink raincoat.




From out of nowhere, two dogs appeared. They were not leashed nor were any owners in the area. They were fairly good-sized and she stopped to watch them in her path on the trail. They didn't seem dangerous, so we continued walking. Then suddenly there was this terrible scream nearby, and one of the dogs had a bunny in its mouth. I didn't know rabbits could scream, but that one did. And so did Anna. She was hysterical as she watched the two dogs first kill and then play with the limp bunny. Blood and guts splashing on the trail, big tears splashing down little cheeks.

Not a big deal for an adult, although not pleasant. A bit traumatic for a four-year-old who was just a few feet away from the carnage. It took us awhile to get her happy again. Explaining that it was just what animals do, and sometimes it happens when people are around. Explaining to her that the dogs weren't going to hurt HER, and that we would protect her.

The good part of the story is that she still loved going to the canoe country with us. Almost every year since 2007 we have taken her with us, and this next month she will turn 18. We hope she will go with us again.

She was so young, she probably doesn't even remember the incident. We haven't asked her. But I do, and it still brings tears to my eyes.
 
SummerSkin
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04/13/2021 10:42AM  
Spartan2, that's a sad but touching story, and if there is any silver lining it's that you were able to provide loving comfort and guidance to your granddaughter when she was exposed to the harsh reality of death.

Speaking of bearing witness to animal tragedies, a decade or more back I was taking a walk in a secluded park on my lunch break. The path wound back through a forest and meadow, down to a small pond that I knew from previous fishing endeavors had a healthy largemouth bass population.

As I circumnavigated the path around the pond, a bird started chirping frantically. Suddenly I heard and then saw several tweeting baby birds flee a nest that was concealed in the brambles and reeds along the pond's shore. The mother was not happy with my intrusion.

One of the baby birds had flown out over the pond but couldn't make it much farther than 20 feet or so. It fell into the water and then started flap-swimming across the top back towards its nest.

This all happened in the span of a few seconds, so I, having been startled by the sudden avian pandemonium, was watching this unfold with no time to react.

With my heart in my throat, I watched as a largemouth bass broke the glass surface of that pond and completely inhaled that poor baby bird in less than the blink of an eye. After a grotesque and abrupt "slurp", the only remnant of the hatchling was a few silent ripples across the pond's surface. Meanwhile, the mother continued her distressed cries over the unfolding trauma. I sat there in disbelief and grief over what I'd just seen.

I know it's silly, but I felt a lot of guilt and sadness over that one. I suppose if it hadn't been me, it would've been the next person to walk along that path. But it WAS me, so *I* got to witness and experience the reality of death - one I inadvertantly caused - and the ripple effect that it has, even if only to a mama bird tucked away in a small pocket of woods.

Having been the only witness, I can relate to the strange feeling you have, Tom. It's not pleasant.

There's absolutely nothing about the taking of life from any creature that I enjoy, even if it's inadvertent or necessary. Life is a gift, and once it's gone, it can never be replaced or brought back.
 
R1verrunner
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04/13/2021 11:21AM  
When I was four on the farm witness the death of many animals.

By the time my children were four they were all ready helping with the
butchering.

So age is really the determining factor
It is how they were raised
 
SummerSkin
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04/13/2021 11:33AM  
R1verrunner: "When I was four on the farm witness the death of many animals.


By the time my children were four they were all ready helping with the
butchering.


So age is really the determining factor
It is how they were raised"


I grew up on a farm too, and we did it too, but it never got easy for me. IDK, maybe I'm just a bleeding heart softie.
 
04/13/2021 01:01PM  
R1verrunner: "When I was four on the farm witness the death of many animals.


By the time my children were four they were all ready helping with the
butchering.


So age is really the determining factor
It is how they were raised"


I totally agree. Our granddaughter wasn’t raised on a farm, and she had no experience like this to identify with. City kid, only pet she had was a pampered indoor cat.

And I think I feel more like SummerSkin. Yes, I have dealt with death on the farm, or even in town (my grandparents raised rabbits in town for our Sunday dinner tables) but I still don’t enjoy a violent death like that.

And I don’t think I am free to share what had happened to this little girl right before our trip, but it was even more traumatic in many ways, so she was healing with us.
 
Duff
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04/13/2021 02:57PM  
My suicidal bunny story. Heard the squealing of a baby bunny headed my way while I was inside. Grizz! Sure enough my old cat Grizz was bringing one inside the open sliding glass door to the man cave. Got him to drop it, which led to a competition between him and my first Golden on who could catch it first. Luckily I was quicker with a laundry basket. Brought the little fella outside and shut the door behind me.
I'm thinking let it go here and it might head to the bushes nearby to recover.
Nope, takes off on a 40 yard sprint into the ball field out back where a guy was training his Black Lab, and before the owner could get NOOOO! out of his mouth, that Lab swallowed the bunny whole.
I just shook my head, not that bunny's day.
My current Golden doesn't even bother.


 
JimmyJustice
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04/13/2021 03:26PM  
Canoearoo: "Animals don't commit suicide.

Tell that to the Lemmings :)

(ah yes the scientists say its biological migration instincts and not depression that drive them off cliffs or into drowning like the bunny)

Growing up on the farm and near the woods hunting presented regular life cycles for observation. Never much cared for the suffering that sometimes accompanied both but I grew to recognized that I had some control over that. Treatment of animals was as much a reflection on me as it was the environment. Kept good care of the farm animals and made sure to aim true in the woods. Another one of life's great teachable moments.
 
Chieflonewatie
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04/14/2021 07:42AM  
I've seen a few commit suicide by trying to cross a road. I don't swerve for small animals with kids in the car.
 
Canoearoo
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04/14/2021 09:14AM  
JimmyJustice: "Tell that to the Lemmings :) "

Lemmings don't jump off of cliffs. That's an old wives tale created by Hollywood. No animal commits suicide on purpose. There is a debate about over worked donkies but it was concluded that they weren't trying to die but rather excape.

Link to the facts about lemmings.
 
JimmyJustice
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04/14/2021 11:20AM  
Canoearoo: "JimmyJustice: "Tell that to the Lemmings :) "


Lemmings don't jump off of cliffs. That's an old wives tale created by Hollywood. No animal commits suicide on purpose. There is a debate about over worked donkies but it was concluded that they weren't trying to die but rather excape.


Link to the facts about lemmings. "


(ah yes the scientists say its biological migration instincts and not depression that drive them off cliffs or into drowning like the bunny). Never disagreed with you. Although If I could find it, I would have attached a clip from the short movie I watched as a kid where that exact thing did happen. Not sure what editing techniques they had back in the early 70's though.
 
JimmyJustice
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04/14/2021 11:25AM  
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOOs8MaR1YM

This wasn't the one I remember watching...but something like it.
 
Canoearoo
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04/14/2021 11:44AM  
JimmyJustice: "Canoearoo: "JimmyJustice: "Tell that to the Lemmings :) "



Lemmings don't jump off of cliffs. That's an old wives tale created by Hollywood. No animal commits suicide on purpose. There is a debate about over worked donkies but it was concluded that they weren't trying to die but rather excape.



Link to the facts about lemmings. "



(ah yes the scientists say its biological migration instincts and not depression that drive them off cliffs or into drowning like the bunny). Never disagreed with you. Although If I could find it, I would have attached a clip from the short movie I watched as a kid where that exact thing did happen. Not sure what editing techniques they had back in the early 70's though."


That movie is mentioned in the link I gave. They do not jump off of cliffs. They never have. The movie made them do it.

From that link: "But the biggest reason the myth endures? Deliberate fraud. For the 1958 Disney nature film White Wilderness, filmmakers eager for dramatic footage staged a lemming death plunge, pushing dozens of lemmings off a cliff while cameras were rolling. The images—shocking at the time for what they seemed to show about the cruelty of nature and shocking now for what they actually show about the cruelty of humans—convinced several generations of moviegoers that these little rodents do, in fact, possess a bizarre instinct to destroy themselves."
 
R1verrunner
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04/14/2021 02:28PM  
Hollywood has give many false ideas of nature.

To bad so many people believe them.
 
tumblehome
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04/14/2021 03:45PM  
R1verrunner: "Hollywood has give many false ideas of nature.


To bad so many people believe them."


Who’s afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?

Many wolves have been killed in the name of dramatic movies and even cartoons.
Tom
 
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