Swamp Rabbit

The Swamp Rabbit (Sylvilagus aquaticus) is a species of cottontail rabbit found in the swamps and wetlands of the southern United States. Swamp rabbits are skilled swimmers and often cross streams, ponds and rivers. It will also hide from predators by sitting in shallow water, exposing only its nose to the air to breathe.

It is similar in appearance to other cottontails, although it is among the largest members of the genus. An adult Swamp Rabbit weighs between three to six pounds. Males weigh more than females. The Swamp Rabbit is generally brown, with the bottom of its stubby tail colored white. It feeds on reeds, plants, and grasses native to its marshy habitat. It nests above ground in small dens made of dead plants and lined with the fur it sheds. Adults can run up to 45 miles per hour, usually in a zigzag pattern. This is normally done when fleeing a predator.

In 1979 the swamp rabbit species enjoyed a brief stint of notoriety when one swamp rabbit had a close encounter with
Jimmy Carter. In April of that year, as President Carter was fishing on a small pond on his farm, a visibly agitated swamp rabbit approached his boat and tried to board. Carter used a paddle to splash water at the rabbit in order to dissuade it from swimming towards the boat.

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