Which predator?

  Diemmess 17:37 28 Jan 11
Locked

Our garden has stock and rabbit wire all round except near the house which borders a lane. Next door a very open garden otherwise fields and our hawthorn hedge as well as the wire.
The gardener (my wife) hates rabbits, squirrels, feral cats and so on.

The corner furthest from the house (approx 150') is shaded by plums, hazel, and the odd hawthorn.

Not far in from this corner, she found the remains of a rabbit.
The corpse was more or less bloodless but the flesh too red to have been there overnight.
The skull was missing, the ribcage open and stripped, the back legs still attached but almost fleshless,the pelt clean and about one foot away as was the scut.

What killed the rabbit and presumably demolished the carcase?

A badger? was the latest guess by a local, whose speciality is bats!

A cat? there are two locally and one is feral.

I wonder if it was a polecat or weasel or perhaps a bird?
There are buzzards, a sparrow hawk and occasionally a kestrel around.
I think a buzzard would be too timid and other birds would not go for a full grown rabbit?

Last autumn there was a lot of myxomatosis around and it is possible that a dying rabbit was brought into a safe place for later consumption!

A fox? difficult to cross a hawthorn hedge and if it did, I supposed a fox would tend to take its kill back home to eat at leisure.

Who Dunnit?

  OTT_B 18:17 28 Jan 11

Killed by a fox, with the remains consumed by the other creatures.

I must say, I like the sound of all the wildlife in your surrounds!

  carver 18:40 28 Jan 11

You sure you haven't been playing too much of this
click here because from the description it sounds like it's straight out of one of these.

  jakimo 19:19 28 Jan 11

Jack the Ripper?

  john 52 21:03 28 Jan 11

I think a buzzard is capable of eating a rabbit especially a weak one

  Terry Brown 23:10 28 Jan 11

If you have any children, I suggest you have the local doctor check them for any infections they may have pickup up from local wildlife.


Terry

  spuds 23:33 28 Jan 11

Most police forces have a wildlife officer, why not get in touch with them. If they haven't got the answer, then they might put you in touch with someone that as the answer.

I would guess your local is perhaps correct (a badger).

  Diemmess 10:22 29 Jan 11

... my best guess with a fox as the killer.

It might have killed in the lane and jumped a stone wall carrying the rabbit.

Thinking back to November snow, there were paw prints along that route which stopped short of the hedge in another part of the garden. Around the day the bits were discovered, there was unusually, a magpie on the ground.

There are rabbits all over the place. Foxes are seen occasionally but Badgers - No and no setts nearby that I have heard of. Buzzards are seen but never in the garden.

Terry Brown -
My children range from 46 to 54 and the corpse went into the compost!

Spuds -
Police? We have one beat officer covering several villages and about 12 square miles, a supporting PCSO and that's it.

Thanks everyone, I started this because of my curiosity about the way the dead rabbit had been cleared almost back to skin and bone (minus skull and forelegs too) in the space of <18hrs.

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