Spring hare is actually not a hare, rather an active member of the order Rodentia. Found only across the Southeastern Africa, it is a grazing rodent popular amongst the farmers for wrong reasons - spoiling their crops. Its long, powerful hind legs and short forelegs give it the power to jump at a distance of 30 feet. The hare has a rabbit-like head, big eyes and ears (upright and narrow,) along with a long, furry tail that is longer than its own body. It is mainly a nocturnal animal, but can stay awake in the daytime too. Springhare can be easily identified with its reddish brown to pale grey fur, with a black tip on the tail. Today, this cute animal is categorized under least concerned species. However, humans, snakes, jackals and weasels still remain its main predators. Read on to know more interesting facts and amazing information on spring hare.
Facts About Spring Hare
Binomial Name: Pedetes capensis
Species: P. capensis
Height: 35–45 cm (14–18 in)
Weight: 3 kg (6.6 lb)
Life Span: 8-14 years (in captivity)
Diet: Mostly herbivorous along with roots, fruits, & raiding of farmer's crops and sometimes on insects.
Range: South-eastern Africa (Angola, Botswana, Congo, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe)
Habitat: Dry and sandy soil, especially at places where the cattle graze or crops are cultivated
Age of Sexual Maturity: Approximately one year
Gestation Period: 77 days average (2-3 months)
Number of Offspring: 1
Interesting & Amazing Information On Spring Hare
- Spring hare looks like a kangaroo, because of the long tail, long hind legs and shorter front legs. However, it is nowhere related to the Australian mammal and is also smaller than the latter.
- Though the animal is usually nocturnal, it can stay awake in the daytime too and spend time in tunnels that are usually made near a tree. There are three burrows made close together, in the form of a circle.
- The springhare usually resides solitary in the wild, but when it is captured, it can stay together peacefully.
- The animal is very alert, with a keen sense of sight, smell and hearing. It can easily sense out the trivial sound coming through earth and can swiftly hop at longer distances, to save itself from the danger.
- The species is generally silent, but can make a bleating noise on sensing danger or groan when excited.
- It is often used as pet and for meat by the Africans.
- Spring hare breeds throughout the year, with the female giving birth to the young one three times a year.
- The young ones have hair throughout their body and take three days to open their eyes. In addition, they are active within a short time of their birth and sit on their hind legs soon after they are born.
- A young spring hare gets the care of its mother until it is seven weeks old, after which it leaves it mother to make its own burrows.
- Springhares usually sleep while sitting on their hind legs, with their tail placed around their head and body. The head and front feet lie in between their thighs.
- The mammal is not social with its counterparts and does not communicate much, with the exception of low grunt calls.
- A spring hare, astonishingly, does not drink water throughout its life; instead it obtains moisture from dew and rain.