Wolves and wolf dogs
In 1996, we rescued our first "wolf dog", Kenzie, who is the oldest member of our canine family at Howling Timbers. Kenzie was 8 weeks old when she was destined to have her head cut off to be tested for rabies. Her previous owner claimed she bit a child while taking food. Normally at this point, the dog would be quarantined for 10 days, but this is not the case when a supposed wolf dog is involved. The USDA hasn't approved any rabies vaccine for use in wolf dogs. Instead, they require that the animal's brain be submitted for testing. Thank goodness for a retired Animal Control officer who heard Kenzie's plight and quickly took her into her home and kept her safe while searching for a place for her. As soon as we heard her story, we headed south and brought home a sweet little puppy with big brown eyes. In the 15 years since that day, Kenzie has given so much love and has never had an aggressive incident. To this day, she continues to be the sweet little girl that we brought home so many years ago. Although, she has the typical old age complaints - deafness, partial blindness, arthritis, she hasn't lost her sense of smell. She is always quick to jump up when Jumanji (the African Lynx) is being fed because she knows that she will get a few bites of canned food for herself. Since Kenzie's arrival, many more wolf crosses and dogs have come to live at the sanctuary, but none as special as her.
The wolf dogs that arrive at the sanctuary come for many reasons and from many states. Many came as a result of seizures done by the Michigan Department of Agriculture, others came from humane societies and animal shelters that don't adopt out wolf dog crosses. Others are given up by their owners for a variety of reasons including the inability to physically care for them any longer, divorces, moving, changes in the law, financial difficulties, etc. Each animal that arrives at the sanctuary is guaranteed a place to live out its life.
In May of 2004, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and many law enforcement agencies removed 40 wolf dogs from an illegal breeder in Manton, Michigan where they were living in substandard conditions. As many as six animals occupied a 4x8 pen inside a barn. Many had never seen the light of day or been given the space to run and play which is so important to their well-being. Two of the wolf dogs were living in a car on the property and one was living in a totally dark shed. Twenty-six of those animals were re-homed at the sanctuary where they were spayed/neutered and now receive food, water, and attention on a regular basis. In October of 2005, an additional 15 wolf dogs came to the sanctuary after the owner died during a shoot out with the police. Many of those animals have not been socialized around people and do not wish to have human companionship. They will live out their lives with their companion pen mates and will receive human attention if/when they choose.
Wolves and dogs are closely related and many dogs (particularly the Northern breeds) may be mistaken for wolves at first glance. A wolf dog is the offspring that is a mix between two different species/subspecies of canine animals that are close enough genetically to reproduce. It is an animal resulting from the mating of a wolf and a dog, a wolf dog and a dog, a wolf dog and a wolf and/or two wolf dogs. In first generation hybrids, wolves are most often crossed with wolf-like dogs such as German Shepherds, Siberian Huskies and Alaskan Malamutes for an appearance most appealing to owners desiring to own an exotic pet. The first cross of wolf to dog has a 50%-50% contribution from each parent, but what is inherited and exhibited can vary greatly even within the same litter.
Hybrids display a wide variety of appearances, ranging from a resemblance to dogs without wolf blood to animals that are often mistaken for full-blooded wolves. Wolves tend to be longer and lankier in build and have a thicker coat (guard hairs and undercoat) especially around the neck and shoulder areas. They have narrower and longer muzzles, larger teeth with a slight curve in their canines. They usually lack an indent on the brow, have straight tails, longer and larger paws, and have fur on the interior of their ears, which are erect and fairly small in proportion to their head. Eye color can be amber, gold, or darker and many look like they have eyeliner around their eyes.
Wolf dogs tend to have somewhat smaller heads than pure wolves, with larger, pointier ears which lack the dense fur commonly seen in those of wolves. Fur markings also tend to be very distinctive and not well blended. Black colored hybrids tend to retain black pigment longer as they age, compared to black wolves. In some cases, the presence of dewclaws on the hind feet is considered a useful, but not absolute indicator of dog gene contamination in wild wolves. High content hybrids typically have longer canine teeth than dogs of comparable size.
Wolf dogs are beautiful animals that possess an extremely high level of intelligence and grace. With the right care, training, and environment, wolves make loyal, loving pets who are very devoted to their human families. To make a compatible friend, wolf dogs must be taken early and hand-raised by their new owner. Wolf babies grow much faster than dog puppies, but mentally they mature slow, not reaching full maturity until around three years of age. Wolf Dogs are very smart. Their brains are documented as being 20% larger than a dogs' brain. They are highly intelligent, learn quickly, and develop a strong bond to their owners. They require a lot of attention and exercise and must have a large containment area where they can run and play. They cannot be allowed to run unsupervised. Being pack animals, Wolf dogs tend to do poorly unless they have a friend. It is recommended that they be kept either in pairs, or with a dog as a companion.
It should be noted that with proper socialization early on, and lots of positive, loving reinforcement, both high content wolf dogs and low content wolf dogs can make wonderful companions. Some can even behave like regular house dogs, especially low content wolf dogs. Also, it's best to get a rescue, as the behavior you observe is less likely to change with age. what you see is what you get.
When you adopt any dog, you've signed up for a possible fifteen year commitment and the care of a wolf hybrid can be even more challenging and time intensive than that of the average dog. Bright, curious and active, many wolf dogs become adept at opening cabinets, the refrigerator, and more. The flooring can be torn up, the furniture eaten, and even the walls and hangings can be destroyed. This activity results in the destruction of items the owner thought were safe. The yard often begins to look like a construction site with little foliage, massive holes, and scattered debris. Tunnels throughout the yard, the marking of furniture, perimeter areas, and other belongings are common. Property is destroyed and many of these animals end up ostracized from the living quarters and isolated because of it.
These critters are swift and adept at grabbing and confiscating your items, or those of others. This is another fun past time that visitors do not find amusing. If the item grabbed is an article of clothing like a purse with important identification, a hair tie or necktie, it can be even more distressing. We once had a reporter at the sanctuary whom brought his video equipment into the enclosure and within seconds his microphone cover belonged to one of the wolf dogs and we never saw it again.
Greeting behavior in wolves can be intense too. When composed, the greeting ceremony may include licking, leaning, rubbing, and whining. Some of the wolf dogs insist on greeting you by licking your face and others are happy just to get some back scratches. Howling, biting, body slamming and other activities can be observed in the more exuberant moments.
Some people believe that wolf dogs are inherently provocative and aggressive, or that they are capable of 'turning on you'. Just the opposite is true. By nature, they tend to be timid, loving, family(pack)-oriented, and trusting of pack members.
They are not aggressive and will tend to shy away from strangers rather than confront them. Most will behave similar, and proportional to, the breeds they are mixed with. Like any dog breed, however, if abused or neglected, or if tied to a tree, they learn to be defensive or aggressive.
The lifespan of a wolf dog is up to 15, 16, or even 17 years.
African Servals / Savannah
Mickey, the African Serval, is now 12 years old and was the first exotic cat to arrive at the sanctuary. He came from an exotic animal auction where all species of animals are available for sale to the highest bidder. Since then, he has been joined by two other African Servals, Fossa and Timber and a Savannah cat, Pixie. A Savannah cat is a cross between a domestic house cat and a Serval. Although much smaller in size, Pixie definitely rules the roost!
Fossa was relinquished to the sanctuary from a family with a new human baby and Timber, is only visiting with us until his “father” gets a new place to live. Servals are medium-sized African wild cats. It is a strong yet slender animal with long legs and a fairly short tail (Servals have the longest legs of any cat, relative to their body size). The head is small in relation to the body, and the tall, oval ears are set close together. The pattern of the fur is variable. Usually, the Serval is boldly spotted black on tawny, with 2 or 4 stripes from the top of the head down the neck and back, transitioning into spots. They have a very wide reported size range, from 18 40 pounds, although Mickey and Fossa weigh close to #50. A Serval’s head and body length is 2 3 feet and they range from 1 1/2 to 2 feet tall at the shoulders. The males tend to be larger than the females.
Servals maintain their own unique lineage descending from the same felid ancestor as the lion. They share common traits with the cheetah and it is thought that the cheetah descended from ancient Servals.
Servals are nocturnal and hunt mostly at night. Although the Serval is specialized for catching rodents, in the wild it is an opportunistic predator whose diet also includes birds, hares, reptiles, insects, fish and frogs. As part of its adaptations for hunting in the savannas, the Serval boasts long legs for jumping, which also help it achieve a top speed of 50 mph. The long legs and neck allow the Serval to see over tall grasses, while its ears are used to detect prey, even those burrowing underground. Servals have been known to dig into burrows in search of underground prey, and to leap up to 10 ft into the air to grab birds in flight. At the sanctuary, they are fed a high quality dry cat food, raw chicken, deboned cooked chicken, canned fish such as tuna and canned cat food with Oasis vitamins and calcium added. They also enjoy treats of cheese, jerky, cottage cheese, strawberries, cherries, oranges, bananas, tomatoes and macaroni and cheese.
Servals are extremely intelligent, and demonstrate remarkable problem-solving ability, making them notorious for getting into mischief, as well as easily outwitting their prey, and eluding other predators. Like many cats, Servals are able to purr. They also have a high-pitched chirp, and can hiss, cackle, growl, grunt, and meow. The “chirp” sounds like a cross between a birdcall and the meow of a very young kitten.
Recently, Servals have been bred with the domestic cat to create a hybrid of domestic cat called the Savannah. These animals tend to be smaller than the Serval, but retain the markings and color of the Serval. These animals are more tolerant of multiple owners, are more reliably litter trained, and tend to be more social with strangers. However, because the breeding can be difficult, the first generation (F1) animals tend to remain less common and quite expensive.
Black Capped Capuchin also known as the Tufted Capuchin
The first and only primate at the sanctuary arrived on March 8, 2007 as part of a cruelty case. Gil, a black capped capuchin was left behind in an abandoned home with dogs and cats. Three dogs and 1 cat were found dead in the home. Other dogs/puppies were found alive but suffering from severe malnutrition. The woman was sentenced to prison and Gil found a new life at the sanctuary where she has her own bedroom. Her room is filled with platforms, shelves, tunnels, vines, hammocks, a specially made monkey barrel, a window and many toys to keep her active mind busy. In addition, she has a specially made grid window that allows her to see the day to day activities of the house and an opportunity to watch television while remaining safely in her room. Gil also had her own area that opened up into the exotics room so that she could watch all of the animals and/or daily activities of the volunteers. This area is being reconstructed so that it will provide access to an outdoor enclosure as well. Each day, Gil eats breakfast, lunch, and dinner with the family in addition to her daily meal of fruits, vegetables and kibble. Gil’s daily diet consists of fresh fruit such as mango, papaya, peaches, nectarines, grapes, apples, bananas, oranges, berries, melon, avocado, and vegetables such as carrots, cauliflower, corn, romaine lettuce, broccoli, green beans, and peas. In addition, she eats nuts, seeds, bread, hard boiled eggs, and insects such as crickets and mealworms.
The black capped capuchin is a New World primate from South America. Capuchins generally resemble the friars of their namesake. Their body, arms, legs, and tail are all darkly (black or brown) colored, while the face, throat, and chest are white colored, and their heads have a black cap and the belly being somewhat lighter-colored than the rest of the body. It has a bundle of long, hardened hair on the forehead that can be raised as a sort of "wig". They reach a length of 12–22 in, with tails that are just as long as the body. They weigh up to 2 1/2 pounds after reaching their final weight at adulthood. They have a strong prehensile tail which acts as a fifth limb when the capuchin travels through the trees.
The range of capuchin monkeys includes Central America and South America as far south as northern Argentina. They live in trees (arboreal) and descend to the ground only to drink. Like other capuchins, it is a social animal, forming groups of 8 to 15 individuals that are led by an alpha or dominant male.
Easily recognized as the "organ grinder" or "greyhound jockey" monkey, capuchins are sometimes kept as exotic pets. They are also used as service animals, sometimes being called "nature's butlers." Some organizations have been training capuchin monkeys to assist quadriplegics as monkey helpers in a manner similar to mobility assistance dogs. After being socialized in a human home as infants, the monkeys undergo extensive training before being placed with a quadriplegic. Around the house, the monkeys help out by doing tasks including microwaving food, washing the quadriplegic's face, and opening drink bottles. Capuchins are considered the most intelligent New World monkeys and are often used in laboratories.
Capuchins are the only monkey that naturally uses tools, such as "pounding stones", to open fruits and nuts. First it lays the nut on a large, flat stone, after which it hammers with a smaller stone until the nut is opened. Besides nuts, it also eats fruit, insects, larvae, eggs, young birds, frogs, lizards, and even bats. The Capuchin looks for its food in groups. As soon as one of the group members has found something edible, he or she may make a large whistling sound, dependent upon the proximity of other individuals and abundance of the food resource, so that the other monkeys know that there is something to eat. The composition of the group is very well-organized, and is determined by rank in the hierarchy. The dominant male often resides somewhere in the middle of the group just behind the front line so that it is safer when a predator attacks. The vanguard is composed of higher-ranked females who are tolerated by the dominant male. They have the privilege to reach the food first, but they are also the most vulnerable when a predator attacks.
Capuchins have been observed using containers to hold water, using sticks (to dig nuts, to dip for syrup, to catch ants, to reach food), using stones to hit nuts, using sponges to absorb juice, using stones as hammer and chisel to penetrate a barrier and using stones as hammer and anvil to crack nuts. As it applies to manual dexterity, capuchins are capable of a limited precision grip (the ability to delicately pinch and manipulate objects with the thumb and fingertips), which is not found in any other New World monkeys and only found in limited amounts in apes. The Tufted Capuchin has been observed manufacturing tools both in captivity and in the wild. In captivity, it has been reported as making probing sticks to reach normally inaccessible containers with syrup. It is also capable of understanding the concept of "sponging" and using paper towels, monkey biscuits, sticks, leaves and straw to sop up juice and then suck on the sponge to consume the juice. Research in the wild has shown that capuchin tool use is every bit as extensive as in captivity with capuchins being observed using stones to dig holes to get at tubers, an activity previously only seen in humans.
In captivity, individuals have reached an age of 45 years, although life expectancy in nature is only 15 to 25 years.
Caracal – Desert Lynx
Howling Timbers has one resident Caracal, Jumangi. He has been a part of the sanctuary for two years and came from a loving home in the Upper Peninsula. Jumangi is very choosey about his friends and isn’t afraid to show aggression to those he doesn’t care for. Because of his slight attitude, his former owners were worried about the safety of other family members and decided placing him in a sanctuary setting would be best. Jumangi was raised on canned cat food for 10 years prior to coming to Howling Timbers. Efforts to change his diet were unsuccessful, however, he has accepted the powdered vitamins and calcium we add to his canned food daily to make it as healthy for him as possible.
Caracals range throughout Africa and in Asia from Turkestan, Northwest India to Arabia.
The Caracal is distributed over Africa and the Middle East The Caracal is classified as a small cat, yet is amongst the heaviest of all small cats, as well as the quickest, being nearly as fast as the Serval. The Caracal is a slender, yet muscular, cat, with long legs and a short tail. Males typically weigh 30 to 40 lb, while females weigh about 24 lb. It has a tail nearly a third of its body length and is 26 to 35 inches in length with a 12 inch tail.
The color of the fur varies between wine-red, grey, or sand-colored. Young Caracals bear reddish spots on the underside; adults do not have markings except for black spots above the eyes and small white patches around the eyes and nose. Underparts of the chin and body are white, and a narrow black line runs from the corner of the eye to the nose. The pupils of a Caracal's eyes contract to form circles rather than the slits found in most small cats. The most conspicuous feature of the Caracal is elongated, tufted black ears. Its ears, which it uses to locate prey, are controlled by 20 different muscles.
Caracals hunt by stalking their prey, approaching within about 16 feet before suddenly sprinting and leaping. It is best known for its spectacular skill at hunting birds, able to snatch a bird in flight, sometimes more than one at a time. It can jump and climb exceptionally well, which enables it to catch hyraxes better than probably any other carnivore. If no cover is available in which to conceal itself, a Caracal may flatten itself against the ground and remain motionless, allowing its coat color to act as camouflage.
Caracals produce the usual range of sounds for cats, including growling, hissing, purring, and calling. Unusually, they also make a barking sound, which is possibly used as a warning.
Its life expectancy in the wild is 12 years, and 17 years in captivity.
Although Howling Timbers no longer operates a domestic cat shelter, many cats have found their way to the sanctuary and will remain there throughout their lives. While most are very friendly and demand attention some of the cats prefer to watch from a distance. Cats will be found right under your feet, in a box on the counter in the animal kitchen where you are trying to work, on top of the lizard cage, sleeping among the clean animal bedding, on the back of the couch and even in the open rafters of the pole building.
At the sanctuary, we have one chinchilla, Ivory. Chinchillas are very soft and furry and related to rats, mice, guinea pigs, squirrels, beavers and even porcupines. They are native to South America, more specifically in the countries of Argentina, Bolivia, Peru and Chile in the high altitudes of the Andes Mountains where they live in crevices and between rocks and caves. They are very social and live in colonies of about 100. At the sanctuary, Ivory’s preferred companion is a large black bunny named Ebony. They are the best of friends, groom one another, share meals and Ivory even sleeps on Ebony’s back. Ivory loves to take a dust bath – she will dive in and roll in the “dust”. Chinchillas are vegetarians and dine on food such as roots, fruits, leaves, bark and tubers in the wild. In captivity, they eat pellets, hay and an occasional raisin treat. Chinchillas have an average life span of 15 years although they have been known to live 20 years.
Over the past 7 years, five Coatimundis have found a new home at the sanctuary. Squeaks is the eldest coati at 13 years old. His buddies include Taz who is 7, Coda who is 5, and Chloe who is 4 years old. Being that Peanut is only a year old and much smaller than the other Coatimundis, he doesn’t reside with the others yet. Squeaks came to the sanctuary from a lady who was getting a divorce and had no place to take her animals. Taz came to us from a zoo after being dropped off at an animal shelter. Coda came to us because his owner was allergic to him. Coda is still visited by his “mom” and “grandma” on a regular basis and spoiled with new toys and hammocks made by his “grandma”. All three are neutered male White Nose Coatimudis. Chloe is the only female and she came to us after an IRS seizure. She is a Mountain coatimundi.
Coatis are members of the raccoon family and native to the lowland forests of South America, Central America, and the Southwestern United States. The Coati is a raccoon-like omnivore, but is more slender and possesses a longer snout.
Coatis are often called hog nosed coons because of their long, flexible snout that is white near the tip and around the eyes, which often have dark patches above. The Coati has small ears, dark feet and a long, thin tail (as much as 2 feet long) with 6 or 7 dark bands. They use their ringed tail for balance while they climb trees and use their strong claws for digging. Coatis walk on the soles of their feet, like the Grizzly Bear but contrary to their much bigger relatives, coatis are able to descend trees headfirst thanks to a double-jointed, flexible ankle. This grizzled gray-brown mammal grows 30 to 55 inches long and stands 8 to 12 inches high at the shoulder. It can weigh from 10 to 25 pounds. Males are almost twice as large as females.
It is a nosy, busy little creature with an insatiable appetite. The Coati is gregarious and noisy as it travels about in groups of from 6 to 24, holding its tail almost erect and chattering with others. The coati communicates its intentions or moods with chirping, snorting or grunting sounds. Different chirping sounds are used to express joy during social grooming, appeasement after fights, or to convey irritation or anger. Coatis additionally use special postures or moves to convey simple messages; for example, hiding the nose between the front paws as a sign for submission; lowering the head, baring teeth and jumping at an enemy signal an aggressive disposition.
They are very intelligent, curious, clever and perhaps even a little conniving. They are also affectionate and loving, but they are not "lap dogs" - they are far too active for this! Left alone, these curious and easily bored gremlins will get into EVERYTHING. There is no knob they cannot turn or latch they can't open. Through Squeak’s explorations, we have discovered that he loves sunflower seeds and when he is determined to get into something, he will succeed!
In contrast to dogs and cats, coatis have not been bred to blindly accept authority. They are naturally selfish and will more often than not ignore their owner's authority or commands. Coati training is a difficult task.
Individuals recognize other coatis by their looks, voices and smells, the individual smell is intensified by special musk-glands on their necks and bellies.
They prefer to sleep or rest in elevated places and niches, like the rainforest canopy, in crudely-built sleeping nests.
Coatis are diurnal, spending most of the day foraging for food, which includes insects, lizards, roots, fruits, nuts and eggs. The sanctuary diet consists of dog/cat food, oranges, bananas, grapes, boiled eggs, melons, berries raisins, avocados, carrots, papaya, pineapple, bread, cooked chicken, and cereal.
As pets, coatis are small, curious and intelligent mammals, which are considered interesting, fun and endearing by their owners most of the time. However, they are prone to mischief and can be very destructive in a household or garden without constant supervision.
Their life expectancy is 7-14 years in captivity.
The sanctuary is home to two Mustangs, Thunder and Flair, that were adopted from the BLM (Bureau of Land Management). Flair is a 7 year old gelding captured at 6 months old in the Augusta Mountains in Pershing, Nevada in 2003. Thunder is an 8 year old gelding captured as a yearling in Sweetwater, Wyoming.
A Mustang is a feral horse found in herds on federal lands. It is often called “The Symbol of the American West.” Since modern horses are not indigenous to North America, these herds originated from an assortment of animals reintroduced to this continent by early explorers, pioneers, miners, and ranchers which got loose or were released and formed wild bands. In some instances the horses and burros interbred, producing wild mules. Federal protection and a lack of natural predators have resulted in thriving wild horse and burro populations that grow in number each year. The BLM monitors rangelands and wild horse and burro herds to determine the number of animals, including livestock and wildlife that the land can support. Each year, the BLM gathers excess wild horses and burros from areas where vegetation and water could become scarce if too many animals use the area. The BLM then makes these animals available for adoption. Mustangs that have been removed from the wild require experienced handlers, but a gentled Mustang can make a willing partner and a great family horse.
Mustangs are known for their rugged athleticism and qualities of endurance. They are generally 14 - 15 hands and come in many colors: bay, black, buckskin, champagne, chestnut, cremello, dun, grey, grullo, palomino, perlino, pinto, roan, spotted, and white.
Howling Timbers houses one very special kinkajou named April. She came to the sanctuary from another animal organization.
Kinkajous are from Tropical Forests in and around South America, Mexico and Brazil where they live in the upper canopy. Kinkajous are related to raccoons, coatimundis, ringtail cats, and possibly panda bears. They have a prehensile tail so they can hang from branches and hold on to things, just like a monkey does. They have 5 digits on each hand which means a kinkajou can hold onto things just like a person. The vision of a Kinkajou is poor and they can’t sense difference in colors. Instead they communicate with each other by scent marking. Scent glands are located in bare areas on either side of the face, at the corner of the mouth, on the throat, and on the abdomen. Although the average Kinkajou weighs approximately 6 pounds, April enjoys her meals very much and tips the scale at about 9 pounds.
Being nocturnal, April starts her day around 7 p.m. In the wild Kinkajou's spend most of the night looking for food. They use their 6 inch long tongues to get in tree holes and get all the sap and nectar from inside. A wild Kinkajou diet is mostly fruit, some bugs and an occasional egg. April’s diet consists of bananas, papaya, melons, berries, apples, oranges, grapes, green beans, pears, plums, nectarines, peaches, mangoes, kiwi, boiled eggs, figs, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, carrots, raisins, dates, and romaine lettuce or sweet corn for a treat.
The average lifespan of a kinkajou is 23 years.
Three potbellied pigs reside at the sanctuary. Jimmy Dean, Bob Evans and Fat Boy all enjoy a huge enclosure with plenty of room to root and a variety of foods to nibble on throughout the day.
A potbellied pig is a breed of domesticated pig originating in Vietnam. They are much smaller than a traditional farm pig and can be easily discerned from other pig breeds by their size, upright ears and straight tail. The average size seems to be 120 to 150 pounds but just like humans, pigs do come in various sizes and weights. Pigs are active animals that trot when they run and can gallop quickly for short distances. They have favorite areas for visiting, sleeping, back-scratching, wallowing and feeding. They need abundant water and favor mud wallows for keeping their skin cool and moist.
Pigs have poor vision but excellent senses of smell and hearing.
Potbellied pigs (PBPs) are clean, highly intelligent and loving creatures. In fact, pigs in general are the fourth smartest animal in the world. Pot-bellied pigs require extra patience and lots of love, but more than make up for it with their personality.
The pigs are fed a diet of pig chow, hay, fruits and vegetables.
The lifespan on the average pot belly pig is now considered to be 12 - 15 years.
The sanctuary houses 10 bunnies, most of which are friendly and affectionate. The bunnies enjoy life in enclosures where they get to run around, dig, run through tunnels, and enjoy a variety of foods. Their main diet consists of hay and rabbit pellets which is supplemented with treats of broccoli leaves and tops, brussel sprouts, cabbage (red and green), celery leaves, chickory, collard greens, dandelion greens and flowers, basil, swiss chard, endive, escarole, parsley, mustard greens, kale, romaine lettuce, and leaf lettuce. The lifespan of a rabbit is 7-10 years.