African hares are 20 inches long and 4 pounds. The hare’s strong hind foot measures about 4 inches and the mobile ears are as long or longer. The hare can make spectacular leaps of up to 10 feet.
Hares eat leaves, buds, roots, berries, fungi, bark and twigs. And, like rabbits, hares produce two types of droppings — the first is soft and rich in vitamins and is re-ingested for maximum nutrient gain; the second is hard, dry and pellet-like.
The hare is nocturnal and solitary, spending most of the day lying in a “form” — a depression in the ground or under bushes. Hares do not dig burrows like rabbits do.
A female hare gives birth to one or two young, which are born fully haired and with open eyes. The mother only spends a short amount of time each day suckling the young; the rest of the time they hide in forms trying to avoid the attention of predators.
To protect themselves, hares rely on camouflage, speed and their senses of hearing and smell. If an enemy is near, the hare may freeze, crouching low to the ground. If danger continues to approach, the hare may pop into the air and dash away in a zig-zag pattern. The hare gives a shrill scream if in peril but is otherwise mostly silent.
The life span of the African hare is 12 years.
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