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Spring Hare image
Spring Hare

Spring Hare

(Mammal)

Spring Hare Baby
Spring Hare Baby

Spring Hare Habits

Spring hares are nocturnal. Adult males are mostly solitary and live in burrows. Similarly, females living with their young, forage in small groups. Both sexes dig their own burrows using their 2 tiny front legs well endowed with 5 sharp claws. Locomotion while foraging is somewhat similar to most quadrupeds albeit it's oddness due to the very short front feet. Leaping is their motion of preference during flight from predators.
Spring hares are to some degree used as food by African people similarly as the common hare is still hunted all over the world. They are also kept as pets by rural African kids. Man is currently not the major threat to the spring hare. The real predators that keep their population in check are mostly wild cats, several cats, genets, mongooses, jackals, ratels and large owls. Regardless, they are very numerous and not in any danger as a species. The pedetes capensis is basically the single known species of spring hares from the single genus of the Pedetidae family. It's ricochetal moving by hopping mode of locomotion is very similar to that of kangaroos. It's odd appearance has traditionally presented difficulties of classification by scientists, who have finally allotted it's own family as a rodent.

Spring Hare Communication

Spring hares live alone or with another adult and young. They are not known for creating social units and usually do not communicate, with the exception of occasional low grunts. They can get along with one another in captivity, but aggression can also occur. When in the wild, they can also make male-female pairs.

Spring Hare Breeding

Little is known about the social life of the spring hare. Females usually bear three babies per year. Their young are born at approximately 1/3 of an adult's body weight which runs between 6 to 9 lbs.
This specimen is an now an adult captured by African boys to keep as a pet. Upon birth, the young can sit immediately on it's hind legs. They can run on the second day but are rarely out of their burrow until half grown. Sexual maturity is not precisely known but usually occurs at approximately one year old. Mating occurs all year round.

Spring Hare Food & Feeding

While spring hares are herbiverous, their diet extends beyond herbs to roots and fruit. They will raid farmer's crops such as peanuts, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, wheat and corn along with other of man's staples. When feeding several animals forage near one another. They usually stay within a quarter mile radius of their burrows. They have been known to travel as much as a dozen miles per night in search of food and water during severe droughts.

Spring Hare Key Facts

        Size 
              Height: Length: Approx 17" body with 20" bushy tail
              Weight: 6 to 9 lbs at adulthood
       Breeding
             Sexual maturity: Approx 1 year
             Mating: All year round
             Gestation: Average 77 days (2 to 3 month span)
             Number of young: 1
       Lifestyle 
            Habit: Nocturnal feeding, solitary except to breed
            Diet: Mostly herbivorous along with roots, fruits, & raiding of farmer's crops
            Lifespan: 8-14 years in captivity

 

DID YOU KNOW?

  • Spring hares are very alert, have keen sight, scent and hearing. They pick up the slightest vibrations coming through the earth.
  • The species is generally silent but grunts when excited and makes a bleating noise when in danger.
  • While most ricochetal animal's feet are off the ground 50% of the stride, this climbs to 85% for spring hares when running/leaping.
  • A spring hare, astonishingly, does not drink water throughout its life; instead it obtains moisture from dew and rain.
  • The spring hare usually resides solitary in the wild, but when it is captured, it can stay together peacefully.

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