I went into the yard today, and the guest dog went to a corner of the fence, where I noticed a dead rabbit. Ugh. The rabbit looked like it was stuck in the fence (a cyclone fence). It looked to me like the dog had chased it, and it had tried to get through, and gotten stuck. It's rear was chewed a bit, but it didn't look like enough to be deadly, and didn't look like it had bled a lot, so I'm guessing the chewing happened after the rabbit was pretty cold?
I put the dog back in the garage and pulled the rabbit through the fence (which took a strategy I hope not to repeat). The body was limp, and didn't feel frozen, but cold.
Maybe it got stuck last night and "froze" to death? Or something?
I get frustrated with the rabbits eating my plants, but ugh, what a horrid way to die. I guess there's probably no good way to die as a wild animal, but getting stuck in a fence seems less good than most. (Getting eaten alive is no doubt worse, but maybe animals go into shock or something? I don't know. I don't want to think about it.)
The thing is, the gates have been open pretty much all winter, but I dug them out and closed them so the guest dog could be outside without supervision. (I can let her out in the morning while I make my coffee, for example; it's too cold for her to stay out while I'm away, and I don't want her to bark enough to bother the neighbors.) I can only guess that the rabbit didn't realize that the gate wasn't open, got into a corner because the gate right there was closed, tried to squeeze through one of the little squares, and didn't make it. And the dog was all excited, but not experienced enough to realize that it was food and not just something to chase.
As I was dealing with the dead rabbit, it occurred to me that if I were a hungry person, I'd be darned grateful for a fresh meat meal. I'm not that hungry.