Cute baby bunnies can elicit some cooing and “aaaahing” among men and women alike. What is it about cute bunny pictures that makes us feel warm and fuzzy?
Well, according to some scientists, humans are hard-wired to find cute things, well, cute.
Apparently, it’s a survival mechanism. In order for the species to propagate, we need to protect our young, specifically, our babies.
For whatever the reason, humans also tend to feel protective and loving towards baby animals of most species. This, of course, includes the cute baby bunny.
Rabbits? Or Bunnies?
The interesting thing is, people seem to see adult rabbits as also being quite cute.
Have you ever been with a friend, perhaps walking through the neighborhood, and out pops a rabbit from the trees? It hops away, showing off its fluffy white tail, leaving behind it a wake of “oooohs.”
“Look! A bunny rabbit!” we might say.
Funny, we don’t seem to get quite that enamored with other attractive animals, even deer. An adult deer might elicit a sense of connection to nature, or even a bit of awe, especially if it is an adult male with antlers. But not that same cute factor that bunnies elicit.
Though, there is something to be said about those cute little Bambi baby deer in the fall and spring.
By the way, some wonder what the definition of rabbit vs. bunny is. Technically speaking, a bunny is a baby rabbit. Yet, perhaps because adult rabbits can be so cute, we also call them “bunnies.”
Though, cats can also retain some of their kitten cuteness well into adulthood, and we don’t tend to call them kittens.
Either way, some research has found that people will respond to pictures of animals no matter how cute they are. While you may prefer to look at pictures of bunnies over snakes, apparently the amygdala responds to both. The amygdala is the part of the brain that is the home for emotional reaction.
When a Bunny is Just Too Cute
Now what about that urge to aggressively squeeze a cute animal such as a baby bunny?
Human beings can go on a bit of cute “overload.” When we find something like a bunny to be just too cute, our brain tries to balance that out with some negative feelings.
This also explains why, when a boy gets a crush on a girl, he acts like he hates her.
And actually, the negative emotion is not a bad thing in the long run. By helping the person quickly find emotional equilibrium, the tempering emotion can potentially improve caretaking of the cute animal.
Raising Baby Bunnies
If you have a soft spot for baby bunnies, you might decide you want to raise some.
If you have never taken care of a pet rabbit before, consider very carefully if you are ready to deal with a small litter of baby rabbits.
See, if you want baby rabbits, you won’t just be going down to the pet store to buy one. You’ll have the mother rabbit, the doe, and a lot of her offspring that you would be raising at once.
These little cute baby bunnies will be mostly taken care of by their rabbit mom, but you will still need to do a lot of work.
You will need to check on them daily, as well as make sure the mother is well-fed. Their hay-filled nest box, which is where they will be snuggling with their mother rabbit, needs to be cleaned daily as well. The hay also needs to be changed.
Little baby rabbits haven’t built up their immune systems yet, and they don’t have the gut bacteria to protect against bad bacteria. If their nest gets fouled with feces and urine, then the babies are at risk for infection.
This can give them enterotoxemia, which can result in terrible diarrhea.
You may also need to treat them for “nest box eye,” which is an eye infection that bunnies get that can cause blindness if left untreated. In some severe cases, it can cause death.
While raising baby bunnies is a bit of work, if you love animals, the learning curve and effort may be well worth it. You will end up with a cute family of happy, hopping bunnies to enjoy.
Don’t Resist Your Fascination with Cute Bunny Pictures
Even if you are an adult man, don’t feel bad if you happen to smile at the picture of a cute baby bunny. Just remember: You are hard-wired to like them, and there is no shame in it. Bunnies make great pets, and they provide a bit of levity in a world that is often too serious. With their hopping around and twitching noses, cute baby bunnies simply bring more joy into the world.