A little brown hare, alone and abandoned on the roadside? Usually no need to worry – because his mother is usually not far. FOUR PAWS gives tips on what you should do when you find young wild animals.
Dangers for young hares
Like many other domestic wild animals, hares can have their offspring as early as January. Hidden in shallow hollows on top of the ground, the hare gives birth to an average of three young. The newborn hares are born with fur and open eyes, and are left by their mother shortly afterwards. The female hare visits and suckle their offspring regularly, but only briefly and a few times a day. In this way, she prevents predators become aware of the young animals. The young hares are precocial (meaning that they are already relatively mature at a young age) and can leave their hole at only two or three days old. While waiting for their mother, they crouch in hiding places or nibble on their first green herbs.
However, many young animals die from predators or extreme weather conditions. Cats and dogs who poach on their forays or are on walks also hunt for the young hares.
Leave healthy animals alone
Most young hares are neither orphaned nor sick. If the animal is not injured or in danger, it must not be taken under any circumstances. But do not worry, their mother is likely very close to the young animals and can continue to take care of their offspring. Walkers should considerately walk away and keep dogs on a leash!
Should a young animal be in a very unfavourable place, e.g. sitting in the immediate vicinity of a street, you can carefully pick it up and release it again 30 meters from the site. And don't be worried that the mother does not accept the offspring again: the mother instinct is stronger than the fear of the human smell. To be on the save side, an animal that has been touched can be gently rubbed with some grass, leaves or soil.