Ravenous rabbit recovers at PROWLS

Snowshoe hare

This very young and very small snowshoe hare (leveret) was found on Stillwater Main logging road. The mother had been run over and this baby was nearby and visible. Hares are born mobile, with fur and eyes open.

Not equipped to care for mammals, PROWLS president Merrilee Prior contacted Critter Care Wildlife Society in Langley. They advised keeping it if at all possible, because the flight would probably kill it, hares being extremely vulnerable to stress. The stress hormone released into the bloodstream actually destroys their heart.

Placed in its own cage in the rehabilitation room with all the orphaned birds, it was initially fed a formula four times per day. This was slowly reduced and gradually replaced with greens, especially dandelion greens, which seemed its favourite. The quantity of greens consumed daily was enormous.

After almost three weeks of care, now healthy and active, it was released at dusk, hares being nocturnal animals.

In summer, it feeds on plants such as grass, ferns and leaves; in winter, it eats twigs, the bark from trees, plants and, similar to the Arctic hare, has been known to occasionally eat dead animals. It can sometimes be seen feeding in small groups. This animal is mainly active at night and does not hibernate.

The snowshoe hare may have up to four litters in a year, which average three to eight young. Males compete for females, and females may breed with several males.