It was tularemia, a bacterial infection that killed the rabbits.
"It attacks their livers. Some areas of the county, like yours, have lost between 40 to 60 percent of their rabbits because of tularemia."
Anchor spent a lot of time with me, and only asked one small thing in return. And I said I'd do it.
"Please include this in your article. Coyotes are shy, unless they become habituated to people. That occurs when people feed them, and in those areas, coyotes can become a problem. So there's one thing we tell people, always. Do not feed the coyotes. Please include this."
Of course, I said.
And so, if you know anyone who's stupid enough to feed coyotes while thinking nature is a cartoon, please ask them to do the rest of us a favor:
Ask them to smear themselves with about 20 pounds of peanut butter and bacon grease and drive up to Red Lake, Ontario, and sit in a chair next to the garbage dump in the woods.
And there they can sentimentalize nature and wait for the bears, while the rest of us wait for the coyote and red fox litters to arrive.
"They've already bred," Anchor said. "The females will bear pups in April and May. The red foxes as well. They'll be hungry."
I had one more question: As a boy, did you ever read a book about a boy who runs off to the Catskill Mountains ....
"'My Side of the Mountain,'" he said. "Sam, the boy taking notes, and the falcon. Of course I read it. I loved it. It stoked the biologist in me."